Cigarette smoking in Poland in 2019: the continuing decline in smoking prevalence

Kinga Janik-Koncewicz, Witold Zatoński, Katarzyna Zatońska, Zuzanna Stępnicka, Alicja Basiak-Rasała, Mateusz Zatoński, Katarzyna Połtyn-Zaradna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim of the study
To present comprehensive national estimates of prevalence of cigarette smoking by sociodemographic characteristics in Poland in 2019 and to analyse the changes in smoking prevalence in the Polish population after 2014.

Material and methods
A cross-sectional survey on a representative sample of adult Polish population was conducted on 4-11 July 2019 by the Public Opinion Research Center (Centrum Badania Opinii Społecznej). A total of 1016 adults (42.4% men and 57.6% women) aged 20 years and older were included in the analysis. Data for smoking prevalence were analysed according to gender, age groups, birth cohorts, place of residence and education. Statistical analysis was done using Statistica 13.1 and assumed a significance level of p < 0.05.

Of the total sample population, 21.8% of Polish adults declared they are daily smokers (in the general population this would translate to 6.8 million Poles, including 3.9 million men and 2.9 million women), 27.8% that they are ex-smokers and 50.4% that they never smoked tobacco. More men than women declared they are daily smokers (26.9% vs 18.1%) and ex-smokers (36.2% vs 21.5%), and women were more likely to declare they are never smokers than men (60.3% vs 36.9%).

Poland has experienced a decrease in smoking prevalence since 1976 in men and since 1982 in women. In 2019 the most important factor shaping smoking prevalence in Poland was education. Sex differences in smoking rates have been converging since late 1970s. Those with lower levels of education, as well as middle-aged men and women (45-64 years old) were found to have the highest levels of daily smoking and should be offered targeted support promoting smoking cessation. There is an urgent need to bring back and strengthen a national tobacco control strategy in Poland. This should include systematic annual surveys of smoking behaviours on a representative sample of Polish population using a standardised methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Health Inequalities
Issue number2
Early online date30 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020


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