TOBACCO AND NICOTINE USE IN THE EU
This information originates from Eurobarometer and has been edited by us.
1. How tobacco is used in the EU
1.1 Smokers of cigarettes, cigars or pipes
About a third of European citizens (29%) currently smoke cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Almost half (49%) say they have never smoked, while the remainder (22%) have given up smoking.
Southern Europe has the greatest proportion of smokers, specifically Greece, where 40% of people smoke. Similar results are found in the Turkish Cypriot Community. Smoking is next highest in Bulgaria (39%) and Hungary (38%) and in non-EU countries, Turkey (37%) and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (37%). In Sweden and Finland the proportion of smokers is lowest at 16% and 21% respectively.
1.2 Using other tobacco and nicotine products
Regular use of tobacco and nicotine products other than cigarettes, cigars or pipes is low, with only 1% of EU citizens using any of the products listed (water pipe,(hookah) non-combustible tobacco, nicotine-only products) e cigarettes regularly, though this is changing. 1 off or occasional use is higher for all 3 products, edspecially water pipes. (people on holiday)
The water pipe commonly called a shisha or hookah is most used of these 3 products, with 12% of EU citizens having tried it at least once. Non-combustible tobacco (such as snuff, snus or chewing tobacco) has been tried by about half as many EU citizens as the water pipe (6%) and products containing nicotine but not tobacco, such as electronic cigarettes and drinks, have been tried by 3%.
Regular or 1 off or occasional use of multiple other tobacco and nicotine products is greatest in Scandanavia,i.e. Finland, Sweden and Denmark. In Finland, 9% of respondents are regularly using all 3 of these products or have tried them at least once. In Sweden and Denmark, regular or 1 off or occasional use of 2 of these products is the highest: 18% and 11% respectively.
2 TOBACCO CONSUMPTION
2.1 Frequency of using tobacco products
Branded cigarettes are the most widely used tobacco product in the EU. Amongst current smokers, 8 out of 10 smoke manufactured cigarettes daily (equivalent to 23% of EU citizens, with an additional 4% smoking them occasionally). Hand rolled cigarettes, are only smoked daily by 1 in 7 smokers with slightly more smoking these occasionally (4% of EU citizens smoke them daily and 6% smoke them occasionally).
Everyday use of manufactured cigarettes is highest in Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Austria, Greece, Latvia, Turkey, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Croatia with over 90% of smokers smoking branded cigarettes every day. Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are also among those with the highest proportion of smokers.
Hand-rolled cigarettes are smoked by 1 in 3 EU smokers. However, at least half of all smokers in the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK smoke hand rolled cigarettes either every day or occasionally. Although these countries had lower than average usage of manufactured cigarettes smokers, the use of hand-rolled cigarettes appears to be substituting it. Hand-rolled cigarette usage is the lowest in Bulgaria and Romania, with 1 in 10 or less smoking them.
Cigars, water pipes and pipes are smoked far less than manufactured cigarettes (13%, 9% and 5%, respectively) and all 3 are used almost exclusively on an occasional basis only.
2.2 Number of cigarettes smoked per day
On average EU smokers are smoking 14.4 cigarettes (manufactured or handrolled) per day. The average ranges from as few as 10. 1 cigarettes per day in Sweden to slightly over 21 in Greece and Cyprus.
3 GIVING UP SMOKING
3.1 Frequency of attempts to give up
On average, almost 3 out of 10 smokers across the EU countries have tried to quit smoking at least once in the last 12 months (28%). Almost half of those who have tried to give up smoking have tried to do so on more than 1 occasion.
3.2 Motivation to quit
Personal health is the primary motivation to quit, with around 7 out of 10 smokers (71%) agreeing that this led them to think about quitting.
Second reason is family/partner/friends, with about half agreeing that these people made them think about giving up. The price of tobacco is close to family/partner/friends, with 47% agreeing that it made them think about quitting. Concern for the effect of smoke on non-smokers ranks fourth, with about a third agreeing that this concern led them to think about quitting.
The advice of a doctor or health professional, society’s disapproval of smoking and smoking restrictions in public places are all equally motivating factors that led smokers to think about quitting, with 1 in 5 agreeing with each.
Smoking restrictions at work are slightly less motivational than those in public places, with 16% of smokers agreeing that restrictions at work are a factor. Warning labels on the tobacco packages are as motivating as smoking restrictions at work (14%).
4 EXPOSURE TO SECOND-HAND SMOKE
4.1 Smoking at home
Smoking at home is allowed by four in ten EU citizens (38%). Of those who do allow it, the majority restrict it to certain rooms in the house (24%). 1 in 7 EU citizens allow smoking anywhere in their homes (14%).
In the most permissive Greece, Spain and Cyprus and all of the non-EU countries (Croatia, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), at least 1 in 4 allow smoking everywhere in the house. Notably, among these countries are some with the highest tobacco consumption rates; specifically Greece and all of the non-EU countries. This is also the case in the Turkish Cypriot Community.
Finnish and Swedish respondents are the strictest about smoking in their homes, with 95% and 86% respectively not allowing smoking in the home at all.
4.2 Smoking in the car
Amongst those who have a car, the majority (7 out of 10) don’t allow smoking in it at any time. Of the remainder, 12% permit smoking in the car sometimes and 16% allow it all the time.
The key difference between those who allow smoking in the car and those who don’t is dependent on their personal smoking behaviour. About 2 thirds of current smokers permit smoking in the car (65% permit smoking either sometimes or all the time). Only 13% of non-smokers are accepting smoking in their car (either sometimes or all the time) although they don’t smoke themselves. The majority of non-smokers (87%) never allow smoking in their car. A third of smokers (35%) claim they don’t allow smoking in their car.
4.3 In bars and restaurants
There appears to be a greater incidence of people smoking inside bars as opposed to eating establishments. Among those who visited bars and eating establishments in the past 6 months, 45% recall that people were smoking inside the bar they visited versus 30% recalling the same about an eating Establishment.
4.4 At work
Among those who work indoors, a quarter is exposed to tobacco smoke indoors at their workplace. About 1 in 10 are exposed to less than an hour a day. 1 in 20 is exposed to between 1 and 5 hours per day while the remaining 1 in 20 is exposed to more than 5 hours of tobacco smoke per day at work.
5 PERCEPTIONS OF CIGARETTES
5.1 Factors influencing choice
Of the 4 factors questioned about, EU smokers believe that taste is the most influential factor with almost 8 in 10 (78%) claiming this influences their choice. Price ranks second (50%), followed by the levels of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide (39%). The package is also an influential factor, with 1 in 7 smokers (15%) claiming that it impacts their choice.
Almost a quarter of EU smokers (22%) feel that taste is the only factor that influences their choice of cigarette and nothing else. Whilst only 6% of smokers feel that price is the only factor that influences them and even fewer (2%) feel that the tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide levels are the only factor. No 1 claims to be influenced by the package alone. The cigarette choice for 7% of smokers is influenced by all 4 of factors listed.
5.2 Harmful effects
1 in 6 (17%) EU citizens wrongly believe that some cigarettes are less harmful than others. A small proportion (6%) don’t know whether there is a difference between cigarettes and so feel unable to say whether they are equally harmful or not. Slightly over three quarters (77%) of EU citizens believe that all cigarettes are equally harmful.
Of the features listed, the tar or nicotine levels on cigarette packs are believed to be the most indicative of harm, by about a third of EU citizens. Terms used in the brand name, the taste and the colour of cigarette packs are each seen as equal in differentiating features of harm, by 1 in 10 respondents.
6 TOBACCO PROMOTION AND PURCHASING
6.1 Awareness of tobacco advertising or promotion
On average, almost half of EU citizens (45%) claim to have seen tobacco advertising or promotion in the last six months, despite the EU ban on crossborder advertising. 2 in 10 (18%) have seen tobacco advertising or promotion from time to time and almost the same percentage of the respondents (19%) have seen it rarely. Less than 1 in 10 (8%) respondents claims that they have seen tobacco advertising or promotion often.
6.2 Tobacco purchasing
Among European smokers, self-service sales and vending machines are the most frequently used of the special tobacco purchasing methods listed, with 39% and 36% respectively using these methods. Purchasing tobacco in another country is slightly less common, with 27% buying tobacco this way. 5% reported to have purchased tobacco via the Internet.
6.3 Attitudes to tobacco-control policies
On the whole, most citizens are in favour of the various tobacco-control policies listed and the majority are in favour of each of the proposals outlined.
The policy that received the most positive response is that of putting picture health warnings on all packages of tobacco products. 3 quarters (75%) of all EU citizens are in favour of this policy.
2 thirds of EU citizens (67%) are in favour of introducing a fee on manufacturers to cover the health costs of tobacco use. EU citizens are also supportive of increasing taxes on tobacco products, with 56% in favour of this proposal.
Almost 2 thirds of EU citizens are in favour of banning the advertising of tobacco products at point of sale/in shops (63%), and more than half of citizens (55%) are also in favour of keeping the actual products out of sight in store/at point of sale.
EU citizens are in favour of banning sales through the Internet and through vending machines, 60% versus 52% respectively.
Banning flavours that make tobacco products more attractive achieves support from 6 out of 10 EU citizens (61%).
Slightly over half of EU citizens (54%) are in favour of banning colours, logos and promotional elements from tobacco packages.