Key points

  • Smoking is habit-forming and physically addictive, and causes premature illness and death due to lung cancer, COPD, cardiovascular disease and a host of other ailments, as well as reducing lung function and complicating other diseases such as asthma and tuberculosis.
  • Although there has been a decline in smoking prevalence in Europe, tobacco remains a huge problem, with at least one in four adults across Europe smoking and a rate in some countries exceeding 40%.
  • Smoking cessation interventions, whether pharmaceutical or through advice and counselling, are highly cost-effective health measures among existing smokers.
  • Smoking prevention policies such as advertising and marketing bans and high taxation play an invaluable role in preventing young people from taking up smoking: society will reap the benefits of these policies in future decades.

See the entire Tabacco smoking Chapter