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Eur J Public Health. 2013 Oct;23(5):772-6. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/cks148. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

Prevalence and determinants of tobacco use among adults in Greece: 4 year trends.

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1 Center for Health Services Research, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.



Greece has one of the highest rates of adult smoking globally. The objective of the present survey was to explore the epidemiology of tobacco use in Greece after the implementation of recent legislative tobacco control measures and to compare it with previous cross-sectional data from 2006.


The nationwide household survey 'Hellas Health III' was conducted in 2010. A sample of 1000 adults (mean age 47.1 ± 17.1 years) were interviewed. Individuals who had smoked at least once during the past 30 days were classified as smokers. Results were compared with those from the similar 'Hellas Health I' study, which was conducted in 2006.


The prevalence of smoking was calculated at 41% (45% among men and 38% in women, P = 0.04). Greek men smoke more cigarettes (23.2 vs. 19.3 per day, P = 0.002), and they become regular smokers earlier in life. In age groups <55 years, most gender inequalities are attenuated. Socio-economic status does not affect tobacco use in Greece. In comparison with 2006, smoking prevalence, especially among young adults, has fallen from 48 to 35% in 2010. Moreover, a substantial reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked among all age groups was noticed.


Trends in smoking prevalence and consumption among adults seem favourable in Greece during the past 4 years; a substantial reduction of younger smokers and in the number of cigarettes smoked among all age groups is documented. This constitutes a significant public health achievement and an indicator that young adults are a susceptible population to legislative action.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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