The European Commission published a Eurobarometer survey on tobacco consumption. Based on interviews conducted in October 2009, the results of the survey aim to provide an overview of the European Union citizens’ attitude to tobacco products. EPHA has summarised below some of the key issues highlighted by the Eurobarometer survey.
Tobacco and nicotine consumption in the EU
Greece is the EU country with the highest rate of tobacco consumption (more than 40%) followed by Bulgaria (39%) and Hungary (38%).On the contrary, countries such as Sweden and Finland have the lowest rates, respectively 16% and 21%.
Industrially produced cigarettes are the most consumed tobacco products in the EU.
Giving up smoking
Amongst the reason given to quit smoking, 71% of respondents quit to protect their personal health. Health of family, partners and friends is the second most often quoted reasons. The third one being price. The impact of tobacco smoke on non-smokers was the fourth reason given to quit smoking.
16% of the respondents said that smoking ban in public places encouraged them to quit. 14% of the respondents found the health warnings on the packages encouraging to quit.
Exposure to second-hand smoke
38% of the EU citizens allow others to smoke in their home with Greece, Spain and Cyprus the most permissive countries on the issue.
Seven respondents out of ten do not allow smoking in cars.
While 45% of the respondents remember someone smoking the last time they were in a bar, they were 30% in restaurants. Finally, 25% of the respondents are exposed to tobacco at the workplace and one out of twenty respondents is exposed to tobacco more than five hours a day.
Perceptions of cigarettes,
Amongst the factors influencing the choice of a specific cigarette, the taste was the reason given in 78% of the cases, followed by the price in 50% of the cases. Packages influences 15% of the respondents. - Regarding the perception of tobacco itself, 17% of the respondents think that some cigarettes are less harmful than others.
Tobacco promotion and purchasing
Almost half of the EU population remembered having seen tobacco advertisement during the last six months.
Regarding the measures aiming to control tobacco use, 75% of the respondents support health warnings to appear on tobacco packages, 54% plain packaging, 67% support a price increase and 56% an increase of the tobacco product taxation. In parallel, 55% of the respondents are keen to keep tobacco products out of sight in shopping areas.
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