Will cigarettes be obsolete by 2050? - The Week "It is quite possible that there will be no smokers left in Britain or many other developed countries in about 30 to 50 years," Citigroup analysts predicted Friday, in a report that sent tobacco company stocks tumbling. Smoking sales peaked in Britain in 1974, and in 1981 in the U.S., and they "appear to be falling in a series of straight lines" since then, Citigroup says. About 20 percent of Americans and Britons still smoke. Could that figure really drop to zero within a few decades?