Although tobacco use is declining in the developed world, they say there could still be more than a billion smokers globally in 2025.

The team will tell the World Conference on Tobacco and Health in Abu Dhabi: “A world where tobacco is out of sight and out of fashion – yet not ­prohibited – is achievable."

Prof. Robert Beaglehole, of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, who co-led the international group of public health and policy experts, said: “The time has come for the world to acknowledge the unacceptability of the damage being done by the tobacco industry.

‘We need to work towards a world essentially free from the legal and illegal sale of tobacco products.

‘A world where tobacco is out of sight, out of mind, and out of fashion - yet not prohibited - is achievable in less than three decades from now.

‘It will only be achieved with full commitment from governments, international agencies, such as UN and WHO (World Health Organisation), and civil society.’