The smoking situation in Hungary
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National Korányi Institute of Pulmonology, Hungary
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A265
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Smoking and related illnesses signify major health and economic concern in Hungary. Accurate understanding of smoking habits is essential in combating smoking.

Analysis is based on the anonymized standard European Health Interview Survey (EHIS), conducted in 2009 and in 2014. Statistical analysis explored the associations of socio-demographic variables with daily smoking. Additional data from statistically supported health surveys carried out in 2000 and 2003 were used to determine smoking trends.

Smoking prevalence in Hungary decreased from the peak 34% in 2003 to 28% in 2014, with 34% of men and 22% of women reported smoking (Figure 1). Increased risk of smoking predominantly affects the 25-34 age group among men (41%) and the 45-54 age group among women (31%). The level of education is more pronounced among men than among women in determining daily smoking (men: 41% vs. 15% low vs. high level of education; women: 25% vs. 12% intermediate vs. high level of education). Employment status, and among women income status less clearly influenced the likelihood of daily smoking. The likelihood of daily smoking however is higher among men facing economic hardship (45% vs. 24% lowest vs. highest household income quintile).

[Prevalence of smoking (%)]

In recent years, Hungary introduced significant measures to curb smoking: smoking had been restricted in enclosed and in certain open public areas, the number of tobacco points of sale had been drastically reduced and the legally binding increase of excise tax has resulted rising prices. The decreasing smoking prevalence and cigarette consumption may be attributed to restrictive smoking measures. In order to further reduce rate of smoking, particular attention should be paid in the coming years to support and disseminate health promotion programs, specifically aimed at groups with increased risk of smoking, that combat habituation, as well as educate smokers about the harmful effects of smoking and cessation methods.

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