Objective: The feasibility of a tobacco endgame strategy, aiming to bring smoking prevalence to near-zero levels, is currently under debate. We provide information on public support for such a strategy in Europe.
Methods: In 2010 we conducted a face-to-face representative survey in 18 European countries (Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, England, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden). The present analysis is based on 16,947 individuals aged ≥ 15 years providing information on their attitudes towards a complete ban on the use or sale of tobacco.
Results: Overall, 34.9% of adults (32.8% in men and 37.0% in women; p<0.001) supported a complete ban strategy on use or sale of tobacco, 41.2% of never, 29.4% of ex- and 25.6% of current smokers. The highest support was observed in southern Europe (42.5%), followed by eastern (39.1%), northern (27.5%) and western Europe (23.0%; p<0.001). A significant inverse trend was observed with both age and education.
Conclusion: Approximately one in three adults (and one in four smokers) supports a comprehensive tobacco endgame intervention. This first study in Europe provides a baseline for evaluating future trends in public support for extreme propositions to end or drastically cut smoking.
Keywords: Endgame strategy; Europe; Public support; Tobacco smoking.
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