Poland as the country with the steepest decline in per capita cigarette consumption in Europe
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Health Promotion Foundation, Warsaw, Poland
University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2020-10-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A102
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In recent years, we have seen the publication of several large studies and surveys allowing us to trace the changes in the exposure of European populations to tobacco. These included a publication on tobacco smoking in the European Union1, a Global Burden of Disease analysis2 and estimates of cigarette consumption for 713.

To summarise the existing state of knowledge on cigarette consumption and smoking prevalence in European countries. To explore and analyse in-depth the case of Poland.

A ranking table and analysis of cigarette consumption and smoking prevalence in European countries between 1970 and 2015 were prepared.

In the early 1990s, during political change in Eastern Europe, Poland had the highest per capita cigarette consumption in Europe (almost 4000 per annum) one of the highest smoking prevalence levels in the world (70% in men and 30% in women). After introducing wide-ranging tobacco control measures, Poland experienced a steady decline in cigarette consumption and smoking prevalence. The pace of decline in the number of cigarettes consumed per capita per annum was fastest in Poland and reached less than 1500 cigarettes per capita per annum in 2015. Currently, Poland is an average European country when it comes to smoking rates, with a prevalence of 26% in men and 17% in women.

The case of Poland illustrates that appropriate tobacco control measures can help precipitate rapid declines in smoking. It is a useful example to other countries with persistently high smoking rates. At the same time, Poland still has a long way to go to become a leader in the control of tobacco diseases.

Zatoński W, Przewoźniak K, Sulkowska U, West R, Wojtyła A. Tobacco smoking in countries of the European Union. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2012;19(2):181-192. PMID:22742786.
Global Burden of Disease. Lancet. 2017;389(10081). Accessed July 31, 2020.
Hoffman SJ, Mammone J, Van Katwyk SR, et al. Cigarette consumption estimates for 71 countries from 1970 to 2015: systematic collection of comparable data to facilitate quasi-experimental evaluations of national and global tobacco control interventions. BMJ. 2019;365:l2231. doi:10.1136/bmj.l2231