Impact of tobacco control policies on smoking prevalence and quit ratios in 27 European Union countries from 2006 to 2014

Tob Control. 2019 Jan;28(1):101-109. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2017-054119. Epub 2018 Feb 22.


Background: Tobacco use is still highly prevalent in Europe, despite the tobacco control efforts made by the governments. The development of tobacco control policies varies substantially across countries. The Tobacco Control Scale (TCS) was introduced to quantify the implementation of tobacco control policies across European countries OBJECTIVE: To assess the midterm association of tobacco control policies on smoking prevalence and quit ratios among 27 European Union (EU) Member States (EU27).

Methods: Ecological study. We used the TCS in EU27 in 2007 and the prevalence of tobacco and quit ratios data from the Eurobarometer survey (2006 (n=27 585) and 2014 (n=26 793)). We analysed the relationship between the TCS scores and smoking prevalence and quit ratios and their relative changes (between 2006 and 2014) by means of scatter plots and multiple linear regression models.

Results: In EU27, countries with higher scores in the TCS, which indicates higher tobacco control efforts, have lower prevalence of smokers, higher quit ratios and higher relative decreases in their prevalence rates of smokers over the last decade. The correlation between TCS scores and smoking prevalence (rsp=-0.444; P=0.02) and between the relative changes in smoking prevalence (rsp=-0.415; P=0.03) was negative. A positive correlation was observed between TCS scores and quit ratios (rsp=0.373; P=0.06). The percentage of smoking prevalence explained by all TCS components was 28.9%.

Conclusion: EU27 should continue implementing comprehensive tobacco control policies as they are key for reducing the prevalence of smoking and an increase tobacco cessation rates in their population.

Keywords: advertising and promotion; packaging and labelling; price; public policy; surveillance and monitoring.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • European Union
  • Female
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking Cessation / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Prevention / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking Prevention / methods*
  • Tobacco Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Tobacco Smoking / prevention & control
  • Young Adult