Monday, 18 February 2019

Czechs smoking less since ban in restaurants took effect

14 May 2018

Prague, May 11 (CTK) - The number of smoked cigarettes fell on average by three a day among Czech smokers several months after the smoking ban in restaurants came into force, Charles University and Teaching Faculty addiction experts have told CTK, referring to the results of a survey among 130 smokers.

However, since the results cannot be related to the whole population, another survey is being prepared.

"We were watching the smokers in the surgeries in Prague for seven months," expert Adam Kulhanek said.

Since last June, smokers cannot smoke in restaurants. Due to this, 30 percent of the respondents were most often smoking in the streets.

The study was prepared by the Centre for the Research and Prevention of Tobacco Use that is being formed.

Kulhanek said the survey had also revealed that after the new law was enacted, the motivation to give up smoking had slightly increased among the smokers.

"In all, the smokers' readiness to give up smoking is not very high because it is quite difficult," he added.

Health reasons, cited by 80 percent of the respondents, are the most frequent motivation to stop.

The law bans smoking in restaurants, theatres, cinemas, railway station platforms and other premises. It also bans e-cigarettes in hospitals, schools and shopping centres, as well as the sale of cigarettes in vending machines.

Smoking of e-cigarettes is still allowed in restaurants.

In all, 2.2 million people smoke in the Czech Republic with its 10.5 million population.

Some 15,000-16,000 people die in the country due to smoking annually. The consumer tax on tobacco accounts for 8 percent of the state budget revenues, but the costs of smoking-related diseases amount to roughly 100 billion crowns a year.

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