Eurobarometer 458 on tobacco and electronic cigarettes in the EU

The European Commission has published on the eve of World No Tobacco Day a Eurobarometer survey presenting European citizens' attitudes to a range of tobacco-related issues. The general aim of the survey is to assess the prevalence and pattern of tobacco and electronic cigarette use, exposure to smoke in public places, to explore the motivations for smoking, and to help identify measures to reduce the number of smokers in the EU. The recent results are compared to the previous surveys, showing stable use of e-cigarettes (2%) and no decrease in the overall smoking rate in the EU (26%) since 2014.

There are important differences in consumption across the EU with persistently higher rates of smoking in Southern Europe. Over a third of respondents in Greece (37%), Bulgaria (36%), France (36%) and Croatia (35%) are smokers. On the other hand, the proportion of smokers is 7% in Sweden and 17 % in the UK .
Amongst people aged 15 to 24 the rate has increased from 25% in 2014 to 29% in 2017.

Nearly one in ten (9%) have tried electronic cigarettes once or twice but do not use them regularly Very few currently use them, with only 2% of respondents giving this answer. A further 4% used to use them, but no longer do. . Over eight in ten (84%) of those polled say that they have never tried or used electronic cigarettes. There has been little change since the previous survey in responses to this question.

Among those who currently use e-cigarettes, country-level differences are minimal. The highest proportion of respondents who use e-cigarettes is found in the United Kingdom (5%). The situation is similar when it comes to those who used to use them, but have stopped doing so -in France, this concerns nearly one in ten (9%), but elsewhere it is lower.

Source : Special Eurobarometer 458: Attitude of Europeans towards tobacco and electronic cigarettes. Publication May 2017, Fieldwork March 2017, 27901 respondents in EU 28.




The European Commission has published a survey on smoking among 26 500 Europeans which took place in 28 countries (EU 27 and Norway) in December 2008.

The full report is available from the European Commission's site and results can be consulted here.

Three out of 10 EU citizens aged 15 and over say they smoke: a quarter (26%) smoke daily and 5% occasionally, 22% of citizens say they have quit smoking. Almost half of EU citizens claim that they have never smoked. The proportion of smokers is the highest in Greece (42%), followed by Bulgaria (39%), Latvia (37%), Romania, Hungary, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia (all 36%).

The main key messages -

1- Support for smoke-free places:
The survey confirms the overwhelming support that smoke-free policies have in the EU.
A majority of EU citizens support smoke-free public places, such as offices, restaurants and bars. Support for workplace smoking restrictions is slightly higher than support for such restrictions in restaurants (84% vs. 79%). Two-thirds support smoke-free bars, pubs and clubs.

2- Exposure to tobacco smoke:
In 2006, the Special Eurobarometer showed that a third (32%) of respondents was exposed to tobacco smoke at the workplace. Even if there seems to be a trend towards the reduction of exposure to tobacco smoke at the workplace in Europe, in 2008, a fifth (19%) of respondents who work outside the home are still exposed to tobacco smoke at their workplace on a daily basis.

3- Pictorial warnings:
More than half (55%) of EU citizens believe that adding a colour picture to a text-only health warning on a cigarette pack would strengthen the effectiveness of the text-only warning.

Luk Joossens
ECL Tobacco Control Advocacy Officer
March 2009

 The Association of European Cancer Leagues implements activities which receive financial support from the European Commission under an Operating Grant from the European Union's Health Programme (2014-2020). The views expressed on our website and reports do not necessarily reflect the official views of the EU institutions.
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