Mapping tobacco control use through the Eurobarometer surveys: Available smoking-related indicators over time
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Tobacco Control Unit, WHO collaborating Centre for Tobacco Control, Catalan Institute of Oncology, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain
Tobacco Control Research Group, Institut d’Investigació Mèdica de Bellvitge – IDIBELL, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Campus de Bellivitge, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
CIBER Respiratory Diseases, Madrid, Spain
School of Medicine, University of Crete, Greece
Department of Primary Care and Public Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2023-04-25
Corresponding author
Ayaka Teshima   

Tobacco Control Unit, WHO collaborating Centre for Tobacco Control, Catalan Institute of Oncology, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement):A164
Eurobarometer (EB) surveys are widely used as comparable and representative data across European Union Member States for monitoring tobacco and nicotine use and control measures. However, given the current rise of tobacco and nicotine new products, describing tobacco consumption patterns has become more complex. This study aimed to identify available tobacco- and nicotine-related indicators by systematically mapping the questions used in the EB over time.

Material and Methods:
We obtained all the EB surveys (questionnaires and reports) from the official website since its inception. We extracted and compared tobacco-related and sociodemographic questions and responses employed across the years. Finally, we mapped the consistency of the indicators (frequency, variables, and wording) from the different EB editions (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2017, and 2020).

We observed multiple variations both in the available tobacco-related indicators and the wording of the questions across time. These variations included the definition of tobacco/smoking use, frequency of use, tobacco product types, duration of use, number of cigarettes per day, number of quit smoking attempts, initial age of smoking, time since quitting, and second-hand smoke exposure. Past and current smoking prevalence, number of pack-years, and quit ratio can also be derived from this information. While current smoking prevalence (referring to combustible tobacco) was consistently possible to estimate in every survey, other indicators were inconsistent from year to year.

Comparisons of smoking burden over time from the EB surveys are challenging. Thus, comparisons and interpretations should consider potential discrepancies. In addition, due to introducing new tobacco products into the market, re-evaluating the EB questionnaire should find the right balance between comparability with past surveys and the ability to best capture relevant information about new products.

None declared.
AT is funded by a predoctoral fellowship from the Rotary Foundation [grant number: GG2238676]. AT, CM and EF are partly supported by the Ministry of Universities and Research, Government of Catalonia (2021SGR00906). This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101008139.
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