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Cent Eur J Public Health. 2008 Dec;16(4):182-8.

Results from the Albanian Adult Tobacco Survey.

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1
International Tobacco Control Research, American Cancer Society, 250 Williams St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA. hana.ross@cancer.org

Abstract

Tobacco use prevalence in Europe is characterized by large disparities, with Western nations reporting smoking rates generally below 25%, while Eastern nations have smoking rates usually above 30%. Albania provides a distressing case study for Eastern Europe in which the exposure to the West after the fall of the communist regime dramatically increased the availability of Western-type cigarettes, while adoption of counterbalancing tobacco control measures lagged far behind. Results based on the representative Albanian Adult Tobacco Survey (AATS) conducted in 2007 suggest that smoking is a major problem, with a 64% smoking prevalence among Albanian men. It is becoming an increasingly greater concern among women, whose smoking prevalence more than doubled since 1990, reaching 19% in 2007. Young women living in urban areas are particularly susceptible to tobacco use; about one-third of them reported that they smoke. About 85% of current smokers smoke daily and with very high intensity, which further increases their risk of dying of smoking-attributable diseases. Smoking and secondhand exposure kill about 3,800 Albanians per year, about one-fifth of all deaths in the country. In addition, tobacco use imposes opportunity costs on Albanian households, which spent $358.6 million on cigarettes in 2007, or about 6% of the gross domestic product (GDP). To reduce the health and economic burden caused by tobacco use, the Albanian government should implement and enforce evidence-based tobacco control policies such increasing cigarette taxes; promoting cessation, particularly via the health care system; and enacting stricter clean indoor air laws.

PMID:
19256287
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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