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Belgians 2nd heaviest smokers in Europe

Published on 29/05/2007

29 May 2007

BRUSSELS – Belgian smokers are the second heaviest smokers in Europe, “outsmoked” only by the Dutch. This has emerged from a study by GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Niquitin. Thursday 31 May is the World Health Organisation’s World No Tobacco Day.

There are noticeable difference between the smoking behaviour of Walloons and Flemings. The number of heavy smokers (more than 21 cigarettes a day) has fallen in Wallonia over the past year, but risen strongly in Flanders.

Flemish smokers have made more serious attempts to quit smoking over the past year, but 20 percent have never tried to stop. On the Walloon side only 10 percent of smokers have never tried to quit. Walloon smokers who did try to stop managed to hold out longer than the Flemings, on average.

The reasons for quitting also differed across the border. Walloon smokers were mainly influenced by the high cost of cigarettes. Flemings were more likely to be swayed by the advice of friends and family. Walloon quitters tended to try to stop cold turkey, while Flemings chose more often to use nicotine replacement aids. The Walloons in particular support more action from the government to urge people to stop smoking.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news