ORIGINAL PAPER
Smoking in Greece Where we stand in 2020
 
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1
"George D. Behrakis" Research Lab, Hellenic Cancer Society, Athens, Greece
2
Institute of Public Health, The American College of Greece
3
Athens Medical Center, Greece
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Melpo Kapetanstrataki   

Ipitou 17B, 10557, Athens, Greece
 
Pneumon 2020;33(2):59–67
 
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Background:
Since 2008 Greece has the highest smoking prevalence in Europe. With a limited number of outdated publications and a recent enforcement of the tobacco control policy, our study aimed to estimate the smoking prevalence in Greece, describe smokers’ characteristics and the stance of the public towards the newly implemented law.

Methods:
Sample was representative of the adult Greek population according to sex and age based on national census data. Data collection took place on February 2020 using computer assisted telephone interviewing. Differences between groups were assessed with chi-squared tests. Analysis was performed in STATA 13.

Results:
1976 adults participated in the survey, 48% male and 52% female. Smoking prevalence was 28%. Men presented a slightly higher smoking prevalence (29%) vs women (28%) and a higher exsmoking prevalence (36% vs 29%), women presented a higher neversmoking prevalence (40% vs 34%), differences highly statistically significant (p=0.003). Statistically significant differences (p<0.001) were observed between ages, with highest smoking prevalence in 35-44-year-olds (36%) and lowest in 65+ year-olds (15%). History of smoking cessation was higher in men (67%) than women (59%), differences highly statistically significant (p=0.03). 32% of smokers reported a decreased use following the tobacco control law enforcement, 4% an increased use while for 64% remained the same. Finally, 85% believed adherence to the law was observed in public places.

Conclusions:
Smoking prevalence has declined in Greece and an impressive adherence to the tobacco law was observed. Sex and age differences were observed, indicating that tobacco control policies should be tailored to different subgroups’ needs.

ABBREVIATIONS
CATI: Computer-assisted telephone interviewing, CC: Combustible cigarette, E-cig: Electronic cigarette, E-cigarette: Electronic cigarette, ENDS: Electronic Nicotine Delivery System, ESOMAR: European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research, DK/NA: Do not know/ No answer, GATS: Global Adult Tobacco Survey, HNBT: Heat Not Burn Tobacco, RYO: Roll-your-own, SEDEA: The Market Research and Public Opinion Companies Association
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
None
FUNDING
All authors declare that no funding was received for the work described in this manuscript.
 
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