The cheaper the price of tobacco, the higher the percentage of people that smoke finds the latest Eurostat data.
The report looked at the price of a 20 pack of Marlboro cigarettes in every European country and cross-referenced these figures with the percentage of people who smoke in that country.
Turkey and Bulgaria, where tobacco is cheapest (under €3 per pack) to buy, are home to the highest proportion of smokers in Europe, with nearly 28% of the population smoking daily.
A correlation between deaths due to lung disease and the price of cigarettes, however, proved harder to pin down.
In Latvia for example, where a pack of Marlboro cigarettes costs just €3.77, nearly one-quarter of the population smoke daily. Surprisingly, just 2% of deaths in Latvia were attributed to lung-related diseases.
In the U.K however, where a pack of the same cigarettes costs €11.34 and a comparatively low 13.7% of people smoke, respiratory diseases account for over 14% of overall deaths.
This could be explained, however, by the impact of air pollution on health. Countries such as the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg have a relatively small proportion of regular smokers yet high rates of respiratory deaths. Each of these countries, however, experience higher concentrations of sulphur dioxide and other pollutants in comparison to countries with higher smoking percentages, but fewer respiratory deaths.
World No Tobacco Day
May 31 is the World Health Organisation's (WHO) No Tobacco Day. The event purports to spread awareness of the health dangers of smoking for you and those around you.
The theme of this year's initiative is the "multiple ways that exposure to tobacco affects the health of people’s lungs worldwide." Some of the primary dangers that will be focused on are lung cancer, chronic respiratory disease, tuberculosis, air pollution, and impact on infants.