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International collaboration could reduce smoking prevalence, MU researchers find

Despite different economies and resources, a comparison between U.S. and Turkey smoking rates and regulations demonstrates ways to help people stop smoking

Dec. 07, 2017

Story Contact(s):
Sheena Rice,, 573-882-8353

COLUMBIA, Mo. – According to the World Health Organization, approximately 80 percent of the world’s more than 1 billion smokers live in low-and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is the heaviest. Despite the high smoking rates in these countries, little research has been completed comparing smoking rates across countries with different economies. In a new study comparing smoking rates and regulations between the U.S. and Turkey, Mansoo Yu, associate professor of social work at the University of Missouri, found the rate of current smoking is higher in Turkey at 27 percent compared to the U.S. at 18 percent. Additionally, he found the cessation rate is higher in the U.S. at 25 percent compared to 22 percent in Turkey. The researchers hope the findings from this comparison can help health officials and policymakers find ways to reduce global tobacco use.