New statistics published on Wednesday by Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office, reveal one quarter of people living in the EU smoke tobacco.
In addition to those who smoke themselves, one in every five are passively exposed to tobacco smoke.
The new report measured how much those aged over 15 years old smoke. The data represents people’s habits in 2014. It was compiled between 2013 and 2015 and was extracted from the European Health Interview Survey.
Its findings indicate that nearly 24 percent of people in the EU smoke, when including those who only smoke occasionally. It also shows the share of men who smoke, is significantly higher than that of women.
The report, part of the European Health Interview Survey, adds that 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.
How it compares
The 2014 figures, when compared with the last time the EU looked at tobacco consumption in 2010, suggests a decreasing trend in tobacco usage among EU citizens.
Six years ago, 29 percent of people living in the EU considered themselves active smokers, nearly five percentage points higher than in the EU’s current evaluation.
The report also shows a drop in the percentage of smokers in the countries which previously had the highest population of tobacco users.
In Greece, 42 percent of those aged over 15 said they smoked in 2010. That number has dropped to 32 percent.
While still in the top two countries for tobacco consumption, this drop is significant and now places Greece below Bulgaria.
Sweden remains the country with the lowest percentage of smokers, with a consistent 16 percent of the population admitting to tobacco use in both surveys.
Here is a breakdown of the 2016 report data: