LISBON, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Smoking killed more than 32 people a day in Portugal in 2013, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Portuguese Directorate General of Health (DGS).
While the number of smokers decreased in Portugal, smoking was the leading cause of death and 11 percent of the country's total deaths were caused by tobacco.
Around 12,000 people die from smoking tobacco every year in Portugal, the report states, citing the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Out of these deaths, around 5,500 are caused by cancer, 4,000 by respiratory diseases and 3,000 from circulatory system diseases.
Men are more likely to smoke than women but from the period of 2005/2006 to 2014, the number of women smokers rose by 74,141 while the number of male smokers dropped by 161,180.
One in 10 pregnant women smoke while they were pregnant, with 9.7 percent saying they smoked during their pregnancy and 16 percent admitting that they hadn't stopped smoking but had reduced their tobacco intake.
The Directorate General of Health advises the country in the report to enforce a "total implementation and update of the tobacco law," pointing to the importance of measures to protect people from exposure to tobacco smoke in closed spaces.
Passive smoking killed 400 people in 2013, according to the report, though these kind of deaths dropped considerably in recent years.
The country banned smoking in public spaces in 2015, however owners of bars and cafes where smoking is allowed have a framework of five years to adapt to the new rules.
The DGS also advises the country to raise the level of patient care for smoking cessation, and to further raise tobacco prices.
Tobacco packs will cost around 7 cents more in a proposal for the state budget for 2016, meaning they will go from costing 4.52 euros (4.91 U.S. dollars) to 4.59 euros. Without tax, a pack of cigarettes would cost just 1.63 euros, according to a report by Portuguese business daily Negocios.
However, the price of tobacco rising in the last decade hasn't had a significant impact on the number of smokers, which dropped from 20.9 percent to 20 percent.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the tobacco epidemic is "one of the biggest public threats the world has ever faced" and kills around 6 million people a year. More than 600,000 of those deaths are a result of non-smokers being exposed to secondhand smoke.
Countries like Spain also have unhealthy statistics, where tobacco causes around 55,000 deaths a year. France sees around 69,700 deaths a year related to tobacco, according to data compiled by the Tobacco Atlas.
The WHO highlights that it is necessary to combat complacency in order to stop the tobacco epidemic.