Almost 4.85 million Romanians smoke on either a daily basis or occasionally, spending an average of RON 273 (or EUR 62) every month on cigarettes, translating as some EUR 300 million spent every month on cigarettes. Among Romanians aged 15 or over, 26 percent are smokers – an improvement on 2003, when the rate was 35.3 percent, found a recent survey issued by the Romanian Health Ministry. Another 6.5 million Romanians are suffering from passive smoking – at home, or in public places, where smoking is not yet banned.
The most frequently bought cigarette brands are Kent – with 33.8 percent, Marlboro – 9.7 percent, followed by Winchester, Viceroy and Winston.
A little under half of the existing 4.8 million Romanian smokers plan to quit one day, but not in the coming 12 months. One third were reported to lack interest in quitting smoking.
A quarter of Romanian adults over 15 smoke daily, while only 2.4 percent are occasional smokers. Current smokers have 16.6 cigarettes a day, on average.
The bulk of smokers started to smoke between 17 and 19 – 43 percent. 17 percent started to smoke before 15, most of them coming from rural areas.
Most worrying, two thirds of daily smokers have their first cigarette in the first 30 minutes after waking up, and a quarter of these, only 5 minutes after getting out of bed.
Around 40 percent of current smokers made an attempt to quit in the past 12 months.
Most of those who managed to quit smoking said they have done so without counseling – 80.8 percent, while 8.2 percent used a nicotine replacement therapy, 1.4 percent used prescribed drugs and 1.7 percent reverted to counseling.
Meanwhile, tobacco producers reported a drop in the rate of cigarette smuggling in Romania, which went down 13 percent in the first month of 2012, according to Novel.
The Romanian cigarette market is represented by the three international companies – British American Tobacco, Philip Morris, and JTI, which in 2011, contributed some EUR 2.75 billion to the general consolidated budget in excise and VAT.
(photo source: Photoxpress.com)