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Quarter of Maltese are smokers – survey

20% said they light up every day

Maltese were more or less in line with EU averages when it came to tobacco consumption.

Maltese were more or less in line with EU averages when it came to tobacco consumption.

A quarter of Maltese are smokers, an EU-wide survey has found.

According to the European Health Interview Survey, issued by Eurostat yesterday, three-quarters of Maltese respondents described themselves as non-smokers. A fifth said they smoked every day and the rest said they smoked occasionally.

The information was collected over 2014.

Maltese were more or less in line with EU averages when it came to tobacco consumption. Slightly over three-quarters, 76 per cent, of those aged 15 or over living in the EU said they were non-smokers. Some 19 per cent smoked any kind of tobacco products on a daily basis and a further five per cent on an occasional basis.

This means nearly one in every four people in Europe considered themselves a “current smoker” in 2014.

Slightly over three-quarters, 76 per cent, of those aged 15 or over living in the EU said they were non-smokers

Back in October this newspaper reported how more that 2,000 men and women had died as a result of smoking between 2012 and 2015. Men were three times more likely to die from smoking related illness as women.

The Eurostat figures shed light on the Europeans who were lighting up. The share of current smokers differs between genders, with a higher proportion of men, 29 per cent, smoking than women, 19 per cent, across the EU

In addition, slightly more than a fifth of the EU population aged 15 or over was exposed to tobacco smoke indoors every single day.

Swedes were the least likely to smoke, 16.7 per cent, followed by the British, 17 per cent, ahead of Finland, 19 per cent, and Portugal, 20 per cent.

At the opposite end of the scale, about a third of respondents in Bulgaria, Greece, and Austria smoked on a daily basis.

Tobacco consumption is one of the largest avoidable health risks in the EU: many forms of cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases are linked to tobacco.

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