Dynamics of smoking prevalence and tobacco products market in Belarus

Konstantin S Krasovsky

Abstract


BACKGROUND: In 2005, Belarus ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and then adopted several governmental documents aimed to decrease the population tobacco use. The aim of the paper is to review available data to estimate trends of smoking prevalence and tobacco market in Belarus and to evaluate impact of policies implemented since 2005 on population tobacco use.
METHODS: The explorative study was conducted including online search of data on tobacco use and tobacco market and estimation of the revealed indicators dynamics by year.
RESULTS: Surveys conducted by the National Statistical Committee and by the Institute of Sociology provide rather different levels of smoking rates, especially in women. However, both groups of surveys indicate that in 1995-2011 smoking prevalence in men and women had the opposite trends: an increase among women and a decrease among men. Both groups of surveys also indicate that for the adult population in general the current smoking rates were increasing in early 2000s and decreasing in late 2000s, having returned by the end of the decade to the rates observed at its beginning. However, the sales of cigarettes increased by 59% in 2005-2010 and continued to grow in 2011.
DISCUSSION: The differences of smoking prevalence indicators of various survey agencies are caused by differences in sampling, interviewing procedure, questionnaires and other methodological features. The tobacco control policies introduced since 2005 resulted in a decrease of total population smoking prevalence by about 5% in 2006-2010. For further tobacco use decline, all tobacco control policies should be implemented in line with the FCTC provisions and guidelines. The steep increase of cigarette sales in Belarus in 2005-2010 cannot be explained by tobacco use increase within the country. A probable cause of sales increase is smuggling of large amounts of Belarus-produced cigarettes to other countries.

Keywords


Belarus; smoking; tobacco; prevalence

References


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