Journal of Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 1349-9092
Print ISSN : 0917-5040
ISSN-L : 0917-5040

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Who Smokes in Europe? Data From 12 European Countries in the TackSHS Survey (2017–2018)
Silvano GallusAlessandra LugoXiaoqiu LiuPanagiotis BehrakisRoberto BoffiCristina BosettiGiulia CarrerasLiliane ChatenoudLuke ClancyXavier ContinenteRuaraidh DobsonTobias EffertzFilippos T. FilippidisMarcela FuGergana GeshanovaGiuseppe GoriniSheila KeoganHristo IvanovMaría J. LopezAngel Lopez-NicolasJosé PreciosoKrzysztof PrzewozniakCornel Radu-LoghinArio RuprechtSean SempleJoan B. SorianoPolina StarchenkoMarta Trapero-BertranOlena TigovaAnna S. TzortziConstantine VardavasVergina K. VyzikidouPaolo ColomboEsteve Fernandezthe TackSHS Project Investigators
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JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS Advance online publication
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Article ID: JE20190344


Background: Population data on tobacco use and its determinants require continuous monitoring and careful inter-country comparison. We aimed to provide the most up-to-date estimates on tobacco smoking from a large cross-sectional survey, conducted in selected European countries.

Methods: Within the TackSHS Project, a face-to-face survey on smoking was conducted in 2017–2018 in 12 countries: Bulgaria, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Spain, representing around 80% of the 432 million European Union (EU) adult population. In each country, a representative sample of around 1,000 subjects aged 15 years and older was interviewed, for a total of 11,902 participants.

Results: Overall, 25.9% of participants were current smokers (31.0% of men and 21.2% of women, P < 0.001), while 16.5% were former smokers. Smoking prevalence ranged from 18.9% in Italy to 37.0% in Bulgaria. It decreased with increasing age (compared to <45, multivariable odds ratio [OR] for ≥65 year, 0.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.27–0.36), level of education (OR for low vs high, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.17–1.48) and self-rated household economic level (OR for low vs high, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.74–2.42). The same patterns were found in both sexes.

Conclusions: These smoking prevalence estimates represent the most up-to-date evidence in Europe. From them, it can be derived that there are more than 112 million current smokers in the EU-28. Lower socio-economic status is a major determinant of smoking habit in both sexes.

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© 2020 Silvano Gallus et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.