Greeks insist on smoking – 2.25 million smokers in the country

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The percentage of smokers who use conventional cigarettes in Greece remained stable in 2022, making up 28.5% of Greeks. This figure translates to approximately 2,250,000 people – most of whom are men aged 45-65, according to a smoking survey conducted in June 2022 by Marc on behalf of Papastratos.

The survey, which had the participation of 1,200 households, revealed that 84% of smokers are concerned about their health and put health and fitness at the top of their motivation to quit. At the same time, according to the research, the demanding conditions of life prevent smoking cessation.

The new trends

According to the research, it is now clear that there is an aversion in most of Greek society towards smoking, despite the fact that the percentage of smokers in the country remains high. In particular, seven out of ten Greeks (72%) consider cigarettes an outdated habit.

In relation to the corresponding survey from 2021, objections and pressure from the social environment are recorded more strongly and social tolerance decreases over time.

At the same time, six out of ten smokers (59%) reported that smoking bothers their non-smoking partner and creates disagreements and fights. This is an increased percentage compared to 52% and 49% respectively in last year's survey.

In addition to the social relationships of smokers, it also seems that their family and friendship relationships are negatively affected, with the majority of non-smokers (66%) being bothered by the fact that a relative or friend of theirs smokes.

Finally, it is interesting to note that almost half of Greek families (45%) do not allow smoking in their homes.

The societal demand for information 'key' to smoking management

And this year's survey highlights a serious lack of information about alternative smoking products.

Only one in ten (11%) adults surveyed declares to be sufficiently informed, a percentage increased by 2% compared to 2021. The lack of information is also recorded as significant among smokers.

Of those who smoke, only 22% state that they have the information they need to switch from cigarettes to a better alternative. There is a universal opinion (87%) that smokers should have adequate information and access to information about new nicotine replacement products.

Of particular interest is the high percentage (63%) of those who agree with the opinion that the degree of harmfulness of a tobacco product should be taken into account when taxing it, as is the case in other sectors, e.g. energy, motoring, etc.

Lena Plaiti, General Director of Communications of Papastratos, commenting on the findings of the research, noted:

"For the second year in a row we are presenting the results of Marc's nationwide research on cigarettes, which helps us understand what is happening in society, both from the side of smokers as well as that of non-smokers for a habit that, despite being considered outdated, is continued by 1 in 4 Greeks.

"A commitment that follows our every action at Papastratos is to reduce the number of smokers in Greece by 1.5 million by 2025.

"Using science as a vehicle, we intensify our efforts so that there are alternative, innovative solutions for those who insist on smoking, always considering the cessation of smoking as the best choice for a smoker."

Research at a glance:

• The percentage of adult smokers in Greece currently stands at 28.5%.
• 8% (2.5% higher than last year) of the total population uses alternative nicotine products.
• 71.8% of non-smokers consider that smoking is an outdated habit.
• 83.9% of smokers are concerned that smoking has serious consequences for their health.
• 37.2% of non-smokers with a smoking partner are bothered by the smell of cigarettes.
• 58.8% of smokers experience arguments and fights with their partner. Last year's corresponding percentage was 49%.
• 45% of families do not allow smoking at home.
• 15.2% of smokers hide the fact that they smoke from loved ones or friends.
• 58% of non-smokers prefer a smoker to use alternative ways of smoking than to smoke a conventional cigarette.
• Only 11.4% state that they are sufficiently informed about alternative smoking products.
• Only 33.5% know what the main differences are between conventional cigarettes and alternative tobacco products.
• 63.2% of respondents believe that the degree of harmfulness of a tobacco product should be taken into account when taxing it.

READ MORE: Greece Lost Over 400,000 Health Professionals To Overseas Countries.