Priceonomics; data via World Lung Foundation's, 2012 Tobacco Atlas

Think the French smoke a lot? Actually, according to the World Lung Foundation’s 2012 Tobacco Atlas, Americans consume more cigarettes per capita annually: French people consume 854, Americans consume 1,028.

The American stereotype of the smoking Frenchman probably exists because approximately 30% of French people smoke, compared to about 18% of Americans. But American smokers smoke a lot more than French smokers.

To get the 18% number, the CDC defined “current smokers” as “persons who reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetime and who, at the time of interview, reported smoking every day or some days.” These are not the only people consuming cigarettes, obviously. But if these segments of the population were the only people consuming cigarettes, then a French smoker would smoke, on average, 2,847 cigarettes a year, and an American smoker would smoke 5,711.

Priceonomics; data via World Lung Foundation's, 2012 Tobacco Atlas

But that's nothing compared to the world’s top cigarette-smoking countries (relative to their populations) -- almost all of which are in Europe:

Serbia (2,861 cigarettes per capita)

Bulgaria (2,822)

Greece (2,795)

Russia (2,786)

A whopping 40% of the Russian population smokes -- a percentage that’s about the same in Bulgaria and Greece.

This post was written by Rosie Cima; you can follow her on Twitter here. To get occasional notifications when we write blog posts, please sign up for our email list

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