Background: Nowadays the European Union faces a debate on the ban of sale of flavoured cigarettes. There is growing evidence that certain subgroups of smokers are more vulnerable to the use of flavoured cigarettes. However in some European countries, figures on the use of these cigarettes are still scarce. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of flavoured cigarettes use in Poland, and examine whether its use among adults varies by socio-demographic characteristics.
Methods: Data on tobacco use including flavoured cigarettes and other characteristics were derived from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). GATS is a cross-sectional, household survey implemented in Poland between 2009 and 2010. GATS provided data on a representative sample of 7,840 individuals covering 2,254 current smokers. Logistic regression model was used to obtain odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of the selected socio-economic variables on the use of flavoured cigarettes.
Results: Among females the aromatized cigarettes use was 26.1% compared to 10.5% in males (OR = 2.3; 95% CI: 1.62-3.2; p ≤ 0.001). Respondents aged 20-29 years had an increased likelihood of using flavoured cigarettes compared to subjects aged 60 years or older (OR = 2.7; 95% CI: 1.1-6.5; p ≤ 0.001). Respondents aware of negative health consequences of smoking had OR = 1.4 95% CI: 1.1-2.1 (p ≤ 0.05) of smoking aromatized cigarettes compared to those who were unaware. Participants who perceived some kinds of cigarettes less harmful than others were also more likely to use flavoured cigarettes compared to subjects who were convinced that all cigarettes are equally harmful (OR = 1.4; 95% CI: 1.1-1.8; p ≤ 0.01). High educational attainment, living in large cities, being non-economically active was also associated with use of flavoured cigarettes.
Conclusion: Our results are consistent with majority of epidemiology studies on this topic to date and should be considered in the enactment of tobacco control legislation at the national as well as European levels. For combating tobacco epidemic, further efforts need to be made to prevent smoking uptake. Ban of flavoured cigarettes could considerably support achieving this goal.