Pneumon 2020, 33(2):59-67
Smoking in Greece Where we stand in 2020
Authors Information

1"George D. Behrakis" Research Lab,
Hellenic Cancer Society, Athens, Greece
2Institute of Public Health,
The American College of Greece
3Athens Medical Center, Greece



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 With a limited number of outdated publications and a recent enforcement of the tobacco control policy, our study aimed to estimate the smoking prevalence in Greece, describe smokers’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 ex-smoking prevalence (36% vs 29%), women presented a higher never-smoking 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.

Pneumon 2020, 33(2):59-67.