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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

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