The Cyprus National Addictions Authority (CNAA) participates in a European citizen's initiative for a smoke-free environment and the first European smoke-free generation by 2030, CNAA President, Dr. Christos Mina announced, during a press conference, on Monday.
According to the statistics he cited for the last month, the percentage of students aged 15-16 who smoke in Cyprus was 14%. It is lower than the European average, continuing the downward trend, yet 4.5% of students use e-cigarettes daily. Cyprus holds a high position in Europe in electronic cigarettes and hookahs, according to the data presented in the press conference.
Addressing the conference, Dr. Mina said that smoking is the number one public health problem internationally and spoke of approximately 700,000 deaths per year in Europe due to smoking. He added that CNAA participates as a member in the European Network for Tobacco Prevention, which includes 38 European countries with 77 members.
He explained that the initiative of the European network, which started on January 26, 2023 and will last one year, is to collect 1,000,000 electronic signatures across Europe. The initiative, he emphasised, is a call to the European citizen to demand that the European Commission propose and implement legislation on smoking addiction, so that we can have a smoke-free environment.
The President of CNAA quoted statistics regarding smoking in Cyprus. In particular, he said that about 4 in 10 adults have smoked in the last month according to the latest General Population Survey, adding that one in 10 smokes more than 20 cigarettes a day. In the last month, Dr. Mina continued, 14% of 15-16-year-old students smoked, which is lower than the European average and on a downward trend since 2003.
Cyprus has a high position all over Europe in electronic cigarettes and hookahs, significantly exceeding the European average, the President of the CNAA pointed out. Replying to a question, he said that 4.5% of students make daily use of e-cigarettes, clarifying that this finding comes from the 2019 survey and that the results of this year's survey is still pending.
He also reported that one in five students had used hookah in the past month, which is a high percentage. Dr. Mina noted that "there is a huge misconception that hookah is not harmful."
The President of CNAA said that the Authority calls on adults to sign the European citizens' initiative. "By signing this initiative we can all actively contribute to a healthy population, a healthy environment and a healthy Europe," he stressed.