Tobacco (64) Q1 Do people understand the health, socio-economic and environmental harms of using tobacco products? (23)

21 March, 2023

This paper suggests that 1 in 10 tobacco users in Germany, Greece, Spain, Romania, Hungary and Poland do not agree that smoking causes lung cancer.

If these numbers apply to the whole of Europe (and there is no reason to suggest otherwise), this suggests that tens of millions of smokers in Europe do not agree that smoking causes lung cancer.

It would be interesting to know more about why they do not agree. It's hard to imagine that they would not have been told many times about the link. Are they distrustful of information from health authorities or their healthcare providers? Are they in self denial to provide a rationale for their continued habit?

The same study finds even lower acceptance for other diseases. For example 20% of people in this study did not agree that smoking causes heart disease.

Are you able to find comparable figures for your region/country?

CITATION: Knowledge of the health risks of smoking and impact of cigarette warning labels among tobacco users in six European countries: Findings from the EUREST-PLUS ITC Europe Surveys

Antigona C. Trofor et al. Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 2):A10

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: