One in four Europeans over 15 is a smoker
(LUXEMBOURG) - Nearly 1 in every 4 persons aged 15 or over in the EU was a current smoker in 2014, according to figures published Wednesday by Eurostat, the EU's the statistical office.
Eurostat's European Health Interview Survey shows that while slightly over three-quarters (76.0%) of those aged 15 or over living in the EU were non-smokers in 2014, 19.2% smoked any kind of tobacco products on a daily basis and a further 4.7% on an occasional basis.
In addition, slightly more than a fifth (21.6%) of the EU population aged 15 or over was exposed, on a daily basis, to tobacco smoke indoors.
Tobacco consumption is one of the largest avoidable health risks in the EU: many forms of cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases are linked to tobacco use.
Eurostat found that the lowest share of smokers was in Sweden (16.7%) and the United Kingdom (17.2%) - ahead of Finland (19.3%), Portugal (20.0%), Luxembourg (20.4%), Denmark (20.9%) and Germany (21.7%) - while the highest share of smokers was in Bulgaria (34.7%) and Greece (32.6%) - followed by Austria (30.0%), Slovakia (29.6%) and Latvia (29.5%).
Passive smoking, meaning the involuntary inhalation of somebody else's tobacco smoke, is also a wide-spread source of adverse health effects.
In the EU, around 1 in 5 persons (21.6%) aged 15 or over was exposed daily to tobacco smoke indoors in 2014, with large differences between Member States.
The highest proportion of passive smokers was in Greece, with Nearly two-thirds (64.2%) of the population in Greece exposed daily to tobacco smoke indoors.
The lowest shares of passive smoking were in Sweden (5.9%) and Finland (6.3%), followed by Portugal (8.6%) and Hungary (9.9%).