The only age group in which the proportion of smokers rose was 18 to 24-year-olds
Taxes on the sale of cigarettes and tobacco in Luxembourg should be increased, an anti-smoking campaign group has said.
Luxembourg’s policies to reduce smoking are not working, anti-smoking campaign group the Fondation Cancer has said, calling for tobacco taxes to be increased.
Each year 1,000 people die of smoking-related illnesses in the Grand Duchy and while the country introduced a ban on smoking in public places in 2014, in recent years the proportion of smokers has stagnated.
According to figures published from the foundation’s annual smoking survey, released on Wednesday, one in every five people smoke in Luxembourg, a figure which dropped from one in four over the past ten years.
The only age group in which the proportion of smokers rose was 18 to 24-year-olds, from 23% in 2015 to 26% in 2016. This increase was driven by young male smokers and was a point of concern for the organisation.
It should be noted that while the overall age group proportion of smokers rose, it is still a dramatic improvement on 2007, when 38% of this group admitted to smoking.
At the same time this group were also the most likely to smoke shisha or hookah with one out of five in the group smoking shisha, down from one in four in 2015.
The latest survey showed that overall men were more likely than women to smoke but actual proportions have changed little in recent years. For women, the proportion has not changed since 2013 and for men there has been no change since 2014.
A closer look at the age ranges suggests a slight increase in the proportion of male smokers in the 35-44 and 45-54 age groups, in addition to 18-24-year-olds, with around a third of men in each bracket describing themselves as smokers.
The Cancer Foundation said it regretted the delay in voting in the new tobacco law in Luxembourg, which implements an EU directive on tobacco packaging to include graphic images.
The law also goes further by calling for e-cigarettes to be subject to the same indoor restrictions as traditional tobacco products, among other things.