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  • Writer's pictureGunnar Garfors

Smokers’ Paradise

Guaranteed double happiness from this Chinese cigarette brand?

Where should you go to find inspiration, to, say smoke? Presumably to the country where they finish more cigarettes than in any other.

But where would that be?

There are lists of how many cigarettes an average adult smokes in different countries, but that list needs to be combined with the percentage of smokers in the same countries to find the real answer. Let’s look to Wikipedia. Serbia can brag about seeing the higest number of cigarettes smoked per adult per year (2,861). Then it turns out that “only” 42.3% of Serbians smoke. That means that every smoker finishes 6,763 cigarettes a year, or 18.5 cigarettes every single day.

But are Serbians really on top of the combined list? Bulgaria, Greece, Russia and Moldova are not far behind in terms of cigarettes smoked per adult, and can easily pass Serbia if they have fewer smokers. Let’s look at the top 15.

  1. Serbia 2,861 cigarettes

  2. Bulgaria 2,822 cigarettes

  3. Greece 2,795 cigarettes

  4. Russia 2,786 cigarettes

  5. Moldova 2,479 cigarettes

  6. Ukraine 2,401 cigarettes

  7. Slovenia 2,369 cigarettes

  8. Bosnia and Herzegovina 2,278 cigarettes

  9. Belarus 2,266 cigarettes

  10. Montenegro 2,157 cigarettes

  11. Lebanon 2,138 cigarettes

  12. Czech Republic 2,125 cigarettes

  13. South Korea 1,958 cigarettes

  14. Republic of Macedonia 1,934 cigarettes

  15. Kazakhstan 1,934 cigarettes

Norway 534 cigarettes

Wikipedia’s full list.

It turns out that fewer Bulgarians than Serbians smoke, so those who do actually outsmoke the Serbs, by far. Let’s look at the same list, adjusted for the percentage of smokers in the same 15 countries. I have assumed that there are 50% of each gender.

Serbia has suddenly been passed by four countries and is far from the crown. The heaviest smokers in the world smoke no less than 9,608 cigarettes per year. That is over 26 cigs a day! And the winner is…

Moldova. Surprised? Moldova is coincidentally also the country where people drink the most.

I hereby declare Moldova the happiest country in the world. I mean, they can’t really have time to do much but party. Possibly unhealthy, but the life expectancy of the people there is still 71 years. Japan is on top with 83.

Slovenia, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan also slipped past Serbia, as showed below.

  1. Moldova 25.8% = 9,608 cigarettes per smoker

  2. Slovenia 26.45% = 8,956 cigarettes per smoker

  3. Bulgaria 37.65% = 7,495 cigarettes per smoker

  4. Kazakhstan 26.45% = 7,311 cigarettes per smoker

  5. Serbia 42.3% = 6,763 cigarettes per smoker (as many women as men smoke in this country)

  6. Czech Republic 31% = 6,854 cigarettes per smoker

  7. South Korea 29.5% = 6,637 cigarettes per smoker (only 5.7% of women smoke)

  8. Lebanon 36.45% = 5,865 cigarettes per smoker (stats from

  9. Russia 48.3% = 5,768 cigarettes per smoker (70.1% of men smoke, the highest in the world)

  10. Ukraine 43.25% = 5,551 cigarettes per smoker

  11. Greece 51.7% = 5,406 cigarettes per smoker

  12. Bosnia and Herzegovina 42.2% = 5,398 cigarettes per smoker

  13. Republic of Macedonia 36% = 5,372 cigarettes per smoker (stats from

  14. Belarus 42.4% = 5,344 cigarettes per smoker

  15. Montenegro 40.8% = 5,286 sigarettes per smoker (stats from

Norway 32% = 1,668 cigarettes per smoker

Do note that the error margins in Wikipedia’s raw material are high in some countries.

A pack of twenties is luckily (or unuckily, depending on your perspective) cheaper in Moldova than in Norway. One pack will cost you 1.5 USD there, while it will set you back over ten times as much in Norway. The price here is 15.8 USD, which is the second highest in the world. Only Australia is more expensive with 17.7 USD per pack, according to The cheapest? Gambia with a price of only 0.8 USD per pack.

An average Norwegian smoker will have to pay 1,317 USD per year for the habit while the Moldovan peer, who smokes more than anyone, will have to pay only 720 USD for his. Possibly unfair, but perhaps with some benefits.

You might not really have been looking for inspiration to smoke after all. How about a Flying Horse, Double Happiness or Panda? If not even innovative brand names of cigarettes in China will change that, I presume that you will stay a non-smoker forever. Well done! It’ll save you some money and presumably a couple of health problems.

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