After a recent survey that showed Croatia is below the European average in terms of alcohol consumption, the latest statistics on the number of smokers in the country is not very positive.
The data show that Croatia has ranked among the top EU countries by the number of smokers aged 15 and older.
Almost 25 percent of the population in Croatia are active smokers, following Bulgarians, Greeks and Hungarians. The lowest number of smokers are in Scandinavian countries, primarily in Sweden where only 8.7 percent of people smoke.
The European Union has tried to reduce the number of smokers in its member countries by implementing the Directive from May 2016 in order to raise public awareness of smoking hazards and focus citizens on a healthier life.
Due to the EU Directive, graphic health warnings with photos, text and cessation information cover 65 percent of the front and the back of cigarette boxes as to discourage people from smoking or encourage them to quit. In addition, flavoured cigarettes and tobacco, such as menthol, fruit or candy flavours that mask the taste and smell of tobacco are also forbidden by the Directive.
Since 2012, the number of smokers has been decreasing; however, the results are not satisfactory.