Prevalence of youth cigarette smoking and selected social factors in 25 European countries: findings from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey

  • Tibor Baška
  • Charles W. Warren
  • Martina Bašková
  • Nathan R. Jones
Brief Report



To present Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) data on the prevalence of cigarette smoking and selected social factors among students aged 13–15 years in 25 European countries.


The GYTS is a school-based survey of students aged 13–15 years. The GYTS was conducted in 25 European countries (2002–2005) and produced representative data for each country.


In 25 European countries studied, 22% of boys and 18% of girls smoked cigarettes. In 17 of 25 countries, current cigarette smoking did not differ between boys and girls. Exposure to secondhand smoke is very high throughout the 25 countries. Exposure to pro-tobacco indirect advertising (having tobacco company logos on promotional items and being given free cigarettes) is frequent throughout the countries.


Intensified efforts to lessen harm caused by tobacco use among youth in 25 European countries included in this study are urgently needed. These countries need to develop and implement comprehensive tobacco control programs including public education campaigns, cessation programs, enforcement of existing measures, and related policy efforts. The WHO FCTC provides a useful framework for implementing such a comprehensive approach.


Smoking Adolescents Tobacco smoke pollution Indirect pro-tobacco advertising 



This paper would not be possible without hard and responsible work of GYTS country research coordinators. List of them can be found in the web appendix of the previous article on GYTS (Warren et al. 2006). The authors would like to extend their thanks to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health and World Health Organization for their substantial support and assistance, namely to Dr. Haik Nikogosian, Ionela Petrea, Dr. Kerstin Schotte and Gail Denner from the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The authors are also deeply thankful to all persons contributing in same way in the survey, particularly directors and personnel of selected schools, since without their readiness and understanding the project could not have been realized.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel/Switzerland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tibor Baška
    • 1
  • Charles W. Warren
    • 2
  • Martina Bašková
    • 3
  • Nathan R. Jones
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology, Institute of Public Health Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius UniversityMartinSlovakia
  2. 2.Centers for Disease Control and PreventionOffice on Smoking and HealthAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Non-Medical Study ProgrammesJessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius UniversityMartinSlovakia
  4. 4.University of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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