On the 8th of March it is ‘National No Smoking Day’. To emphasise the importance of this day around the world, Vapourlites.com opted to analyze recent figures which demonstrate the predicted smoking prevalence rates of tobacco smoking among European men and women for 2020.

The UK

Before diving into the data and findings, let’s explore the current situation with regards to smoking in the UK specifically. There are currently 9.6 million adult smokers in Great Britain according to Action in Smoking and Health (ASH). In terms of sexes – prevalence of cigarette smoking is greater amongst men (20%) than women (17%) based on figures from the Opinions and Lifestyle survey. Even though there is a greater percentage of males smoking, the General Lifestyle survey found that women (84%) are more likely to smoke 20 or more cigarettes per a day compared to men (79%).


Analysing data from The World Health Organisation (WHO), Vapourlites.com illustrates the data collected in regards to the predicted rates of smoking prevalence of tobacco products amongst men and women from 42 different European cities in 2020. The definition of ‘tobacco’ products in accordance to WHO – included cigarettes, cigars, pipes as well as any other tobacco-based products. Their estimates derive from a careful analysis of adult tobacco usage surveys they have created for countries taking part since the 1990’s. Additionally, it should also be noted that the data is not specific or broken down by tobacco smoker’s behavior i.e. how many time they smoke tobacco in a day. It includes both daily and non-daily or occasional smoking.

One aspect also worth noting is that since it was not possible for the WHO to estimate tobacco smoking for United Kingdom, cigarette smoking estimates were reported for them instead.

The Findings

According to their predictions for 2020, Russia will have the highest prevalence of males smoking tobacco in Europe at 56.8%. Russian males will then be followed by those in Georgia at 56.0%. Rounding up the top five countries in Europe with the highest percentage of predicted male tobacco users in 2020 is Greece (49.7%), Albania (49.5%) and Armenia (48.4%).

Denmark is the country which is forecast to have the lowest percentage of males smoking tobacco in 2020 at 13.4%. Marginally behind Denmark is Iceland at 13.7%. United Kingdom (17.3%) alongside Sweden (17.5%) and Norway (17.9%) are also all within the bottom five countries estimated to have the lowest prevalence of males using tobacco in 2020.

With respect to women, Serbia is the country which is predicted to have the highest percentage of women smoking tobacco in 2020 at 39.3%. Serbia is closely followed by Croatia (36.1%) and then Austria (33.3%). Greece and Czech Republic also feature in the list of five European countries which are predicted to have the highest percentage of women using tobacco based products in 2020.

Azerbaijan is the country which is set to have the lowest percentage of females using tobacco in 2020 at 0.4%. Just above Azerbaijan is Armenia at 1.3%. Georgia (5.5%), Albania (6.6%) and Kazakhstan (8.7%) are the other countries which are in the bottom five countries who are predicted to have the lowest percentage of European females smoking tobacco in 2020.

Photo Credit: Marc Bruxelle / Shutterstock

How to Avoid the Urge to Smoke Tobacco

Challenge Yourself

Tobacco can become a routine occurrence in any smoker’s life, therefore, kicking the habit can feel very daunting. It doesn’t have to be. Instead of regretting or thinking about different times you said you would quit in the past, put that energy into making a plan which you can set in motion. Designate a quitting time period and ask those close to you for support on your journey. This can be anyone from family to friends; their moral support will go a long way.

Opportunity Cost

Smoking is a very expensive habit. Accumulated over a vast number of years, it adds up to a considerable amount of money. According to ASH, a 10-day a smoker could save £23.50 a week if they quit smoking. Over the course of the year that could equate to more than £1000 saved. That is a considerable amount and with that mindset, you could envision others way to use that money.

Change Behaviour

This is a simple but yet effective way of giving up tobacco, it involves replacing those moments in the day where you would have a smoking urge or break with activities or things you enjoy and will keep you occupied. In a working environment, this may involve listening to music or going for walks at lunch. At home, taking up new hobbies such as cooking and exercising. If you need further insight on these aspects, Vapourlites.com have conveniently created a guide as to how to alter smoking with alternative behaviours in different environments.

Chris Polenski
Chris Polenski