Three quarters of smokers have no plans to drop smoking


61% of smokers living in Latvia have no plans to replace cigarettes with alternatives less hazardous for human health, as determined by a survey performed by SKDS.

62% of smokers admit knowing nothing about possible alternatives.

24% of Latvian residents admit having a smoking habit. 88% of them use cigarettes, 15% use hand-rolled cigarettes, and 4% use cigars. When asked if they at least consider moving to less hazardous, non-burning and nicotine-containing products, only 27% of smokers said yes. Most often such an opinion was voiced by Riga residents (36%) and people with high income (40%).

At the same time, respondents were asked to name alternatives for tobacco products. 17% mentioned electronic cigarettes and 5% mentioned nicotine-containing patches. Other alternatives were mentioned by less than 5% of interviewed respondents. Other smokers admit knowing nothing about any alternatives to cigarettes, SKDS representatives say.

«Smoking presents a serious threat to social health. Like any other problem, it requires a rational approach. It’s an addition that can be treated. People who do not want to drop this habit have options to at least reduce negative impact. Survey data shows that there aren’t many people willing to undergo treatment. Additionally, the level of awareness could be higher,» says SKDS head Arnis Kaktiņš.

Only 6% of previously active smokers have decided to replace traditional cigarettes with non-burning nicotine-containing alternatives – 6% use electronic cigarettes and 3% use heated tobacco. When asked why give preference to innovations, 83% of respondents said they don’t like the smell of cigarettes and their aftertaste (70%). 35% mentioned that alternatives are less harmful to human health. 5% mentioned alternatives are less harmful to other people.

39% of smokers admit experiencing condemnation from family members. This is especially common for families with children younger than 18.

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