Tobacco consumption change in the WHO European Region in 2008-2015
 
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Ukrainian Institute for Strategic Studies of the Ministry of Health, Tobacco Control Unit, Ukraine
Publication date: 2018-03-01
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A441
 
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ABSTRACT
Background:
The aim of the paper is to estimate trends of tobacco consumption in 2008-2015 in the European Region as a whole and in individual countries.

Methods:
Data on legal tobacco sales in the EU countries were taken from the European Commission. For other European countries, sales were estimated as cigarette turnover (= production + imports - exports), which was calculated from national statistics data and other sources. For those countries, where consumption of smoking tobacco (other than cigarettes) is high enough, tobacco sales estimates include other tobacco products in cigarette equivalents. Estimates of illicit tobacco trade volumes were taken from governmental reports; data from reports funded by the tobacco industry were cautiously considered.

Results:
In 2008-2015, most European countries experienced a decline in tobacco turnover. For those countries, where an increase in tobacco sales was observed over these years (Belgium, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Uzbekistan), the tobacco smuggling was the main factor of sales increase, but not the smuggling into these countries, but out of them.
In 50 countries of the WHO European Region combined, legal tobacco sales decreased from 1,572 billion cigarettes in 2008 to 1,221 billion cigarettes in 2015 or by 22%. The reduction in Eastern Europe was greater.
Total illicit cigarette trade decreased in the European Region: both in most countries with high tobacco taxes (inflow smuggling) and in most countries with low tobacco taxes (outflow smuggling). Most contraband cigarettes in Europe were first legally manufactured in some other European country. So, the total legal (taxable) cigarette turnover in all countries of the European Region combined is rather close to the total cigarette consumption in the Region.

Conclusions:
Total tobacco consumption in the European Region declined by at least 20% in 2008-2015 and so tobacco control policies conducted in the European countries were effective.

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