Smoking prevalence in Greece: The role of age and sex
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Hellenic Cancer Society, George D. Behrakis Research Lab, Athens, Greece
The American College of Greece, Institute of Public Health, Athens, Greece
Publication date: 2020-10-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A108
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The smoking ban law has been successfully implemented in Greece since 2019; however, data on smoking prevalence post-implementation do not yet exist. Our objective was to estimate the current smoking prevalence in Greece.

The sample was representative of the adult Greek population according to sex and age based on national census data. Participants reported their smoking status and use of tobacco (TP) and novel tobacco products (NTP). Data collection took place in February 2020 using computer-assisted telephone interviewing by Kapa Research. Differences between groups were assessed with chi-squared tests. The analysis was performed in STATA 13.

In all, 1976 adults participated in the study. Smoking prevalence was 28%; 17% were daily, and 11% occasional smokers. Highly statistically significant differences were depicted with regard to sex; men presented a slightly higher smoking prevalence compared to women (29% vs 28%) and a higher ex-smoking prevalence (36% vs 29%), while women presented a higher never-smoking prevalence (40% vs 34%) (p=0.003). Statistically significant differences in smoking prevalence were observed between ages, with the highest in those aged 35–44 years (36%) and lowest in those aged ≥65 years (21%) (p<0.001). Majority of smokers (86%) smoked exclusively one product, combustible cigarettes (57%) or roll-your-own (RYO) cigarettes (29%). Of the smokers, 18% reported exclusive use of NTPs. Statistically significant differences were depicted between sexes and products use; more women than men used exclusively combustible cigarettes (55% vs 43%) while more men used only RYO cigarettes (28% vs 23%) (p=0.001). Differences were also observed between products use and age groups; 55% of smokers aged 35–64 years used exclusively combustible cigarettes, while 46% of smokers aged 17–34 years used RYO cigarettes (p<0.001) exclusively.

Significant differences in smoking status and products use were observed between sexes and ages. Preventive interventions should be tailored to address these differences.

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