eISSN: 2450-5722
ISSN: 2450-5927
Journal of Health Inequalities
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2/2017
vol. 3
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Hundred years of cigarette smoking in Poland: three phases of the tobacco epidemic

Witold A. Zatoński
1, 2
,
Mateusz Zatoński
1
,
Kinga Janik-Koncewicz
1
,
Katarzyna Połtyn-Zaradna
2
,
Katarzyna Wijatkowska
1
,
Arlen Marciniak
1

1.
Health Promotion Foundation, Nadarzyn, Poland
2.
Medical University, Wrocław, Poland
J Health Inequal 2017; 3 (2): 118-122
Online publish date: 2017/12/30
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After the World War II Poland experienced a rapid growth of cigarette consumption. Between 1949 and 1980, tobacco sales increased from 21.8 billion cigarettes per annum to 94.2 billion. By the 1970s cigarette production, per capita sales, and smoking prevalence among Poles aged 15+ were among the highest in the world. The tobacco industry became a strategic branch of the economy. By the early 1980s circa 15 million Poles smoked (10.5 million males and 4.5 million females). This prolonged exposition to tobacco smoke after several decades led to an explosion of tobacco-related diseases.

Between 1980 and 2000 Poland first experienced stagnation in smoking rates, and then a sustained decline in both sexes. This has been attributed to the collapse of the tobacco industry in the 1980s, and the intervention programmes stemming from the Polish Anti-tobacco Law of 1995, as well as the activity of pro-health civil society groups and medical associations.

Smoking prevalence in Poland declined between 1970s and 2014 from 73% to 28% among men and from 30% to 19% in women. The annual decline rates in Poland in this period belonged to the fastest in the world. This positive trend led to the curbing, and later fall in rates of tobacco-related diseases. In the years 1990-2015 lung cancer mortality rates among middle-aged men (35-54 years) declined from 60/100,000 to 20/100,000 and in female population between 2005 and 2015 from 15/100,000 to 11/100,000.
keywords:

tobacco, consumption per capita, smoking prevalence, Poland

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