EU Study: Smoking in EU on decline
31 May 2006, BRUSSELS - Smoking across Europe is on the decline, but levels of consumption and attitudes towards smoking bans vary largely from country to country, the European Commission said Tuesday.
31 May 2006
BRUSSELS - Smoking across Europe is on the decline, but levels of consumption and attitudes towards smoking bans vary largely from country to country, the European Commission said Tuesday.
The number of smokers in the European Union has dropped from 33 percent to 27 per cent since 2002, and the number of people who quit smoking has risen from 19 to 22 percent, a new commission study found.
But while the number of smokers dropped by up to 30 percent in the Netherlands, Denmark and Britain, there was an increase of 1 percent in Austria and Greece.
Across the EU, the number of cigarettes smoked per day varies from 12.2 in Slovakia to more than 23 in Greece. A majority of Cypriots and Greeks smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day.
People in EU hopefuls Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey consumed the highest number of cigarettes per day.
Some 80 percent of Europeans said they favoured a smoking ban in public places and a majority wanted smoking also banned in restaurants.
But Europeans are split on introducing a ban on smoking in bars and pubs.
While more than 80 percent of citizens in Italy, Sweden and Ireland are in favour of such a ban, only 35 percent supported such a move in the Czech Republic, 42 percent in Austria and 46 percent in Germany.
The study also found that women and young people in the EU are less likely to smoke - and if they do, they consume less and are more willing to give up smoking.
Tobacco is the single largest cause of avoidable death in the EU, accounting for more than half a million deaths every year and more than a million in Europe as a whole.
It is estimated that 25 percent of all cancer deaths and 15 percent of all deaths in the EU could be attributed to smoking.
Subject: German News