Almost 75 percent of smokers in a 21-country study are not considering quitting, HealthDay reports.
Most of the smokers who think about quitting don't actively take steps to give up cigarettes, the study found.
The study, which did not include smokers in the United States, was conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers analyzed data from more than 57,000 smokers.
They found smoking rates ranged from 4 percent in Nigeria to 39 percent in Russia.
Rates of smokers who knew they should stop smoking but weren't ready to quit, known as the "contemplation" stage of quitting, ranged from 7 percent in Indonesia to 31 percent in Qatar. Only 7 percent of smokers worldwide were actually preparing to quit.
The researchers said the findings could be used to help nations design more effective smoking cessation programs.
They urged the use of health care providers to help smokers reflect on their smoking behavior. They also recommended that communities organize "smoker cessation clubs," where past smokers meet and exchange their success stories, in order to influence smokers to think about quitting.
They noted that adoption of strategies such as the use of graphic health warnings on cigarette packs and in conspicuous public places, such as billboards, have increased smokers' awareness of the health risks of smoking.