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The State of Tobacco in Malawi

Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) status: Malawi is not a signatory.Tobacco advertisement ban: No existing laws for tobacco advertisement ban, there is aggressive marketing by the tobacco industry targeting the youth. Statistics on smoking: It is estimated that 18 percent of adult males and 1.2 percent of females in Malawi smoke tobacco . Representing about 707, 000 adults (15+ years old). 8 percent of boys and 1.0 percent of girls between ages 13-15 smoke cigarettes. Global atlas indicates that there more than 5,000 children (10-14 years old) smoking. Media dialogue: There is a lack of public education about smoking and many smokers, especially in rural areas, don’t fully understand smoking’s potential to cause negative health effects.  Views of alternatives to smoking: Malawians have little exposure to or knowledge of alternatives to combustible cigarettes. Smoking reduction: Tobacco smoking rates among men and women have declined from 25.5 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively, in 2003 to 18 percent and 1.2 percent in 2010, the latest available data

Negative consequence:

Every year, more than 5,700 people are killed by tobacco-caused disease. The WHO estimates, exposure to tobacco kills almost 5.1 men and 2.0 women.

Smoke free zones:

The country has no smoke-free zones, exposing non-smokers to secondhand smoke. Bans: There are no restrictions on smoking in public places, advertising, or promotion. There is no minimum age to purchase tobacco.

Health warnings: There is no law that requires tobacco packaging to display a warning or the associated risks.

Treatment of tobacco dependence: There is no mechanism for treating individuals with tobacco/ nicotine dependence.

Tobacco tax rates: There are no laws requiring a minimum tobacco excise tax rate.


World Health Organization, (2017), WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, Geneva, Switzerland.

Smoke Free World Foundation (2018) State of Smoking in Malawi Extracted from: