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Disagreement over number of Belgian smokers

Published on 23/02/2005

23 February 2005

BRUSSELS – Two conflicting sets of figures are causing confusion over the number of smokers in Belgium, it emerged on Wednesday.

According to consumer organisation Crioc, the number of regular smokers fell to 20 percent of the population in 2004.

The figure had previously stood at 27 percent.

Crioc also said that the number of smokers from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds had fallen considerably.

But Le Soir newspaper reported that official finance ministry statistics appear to contradict Crioc’s findings.

The finance ministry figures show that that tax receipts from cigarette sales indicate that the quantity of tobacco products sold in Belgium fell by just 5.4 percent last year.

The same figures also showed that sales of rolling tobacco – often smoked by people on lower incomes – had actually increased.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news