According to new data, Greek women remain the world’s leading smokers and even smoke during pregnancy, while Greece also has the highest incidence of lung cancer in patients under the age of 45, from all EU countries.
The above findings were revealed during a conference organised by the Hellenic Pulmonary Society, held in Trikala, which has become Greece’s first smoke-free city.
Although scientists revealed that in recent years smokers have declined in Greece, Greek women still remain the world’s leading smokers, according to Ioanna Mitrouska, Pulmonologist Co-ordinator of the Group, Smoking and Health Promotion.
Mitrouska also announced that more than 15,000 people die in Greece each year from smoking-related illnesses and Greeks spend 25-30 million euros per year on cigarettes. “The treatment of smoking-related diseases begins with the realization that it is not just a bad habit but a condition of addiction that only 3-5% can stop on their own.”
Scientists stressed that emphasis should be placed on trying to deter people smoking by increasing cigarette prices, banning smoking in public places and bringing more awareness to smoke-related diseases. According to Mitrouska, the full implementation of all these measures will help improve the health and well-being of the population and save lives in Greece, which remains the first in terms of passive smoking in EU countries, based on the Eurobarometer data for 2017.
The data also showed that 36% of Greek women smoke at the beginning of their pregnancy and only 19% stop smoking altogether, with a large proportion of them going back to smoking after giving birth and breastfeeding.