Lifetime prevalence rates of cigarette smoking range between 16 % and 66 % (Table 5). In 15 of the 35 ESPAD countries, more than half of the students had tried smoking at least once. The highest prevalence rates were found in the Czech Republic (66 %), followed by Lithuania (65 %), Croatia and Slovakia (62 % each). The lowest rates were found in Iceland (16 %), Norway (28 %) and Malta (29 %). These rates were well below the average of 46 % for all ESPAD countries. The average prevalence of cigarette smoking was about the same among boys (47 %) and girls (44 %). Across countries, boys were generally more likely than girls to have tried cigarettes. Countries with the largest gender differences were Moldova (50 % for boys versus 15 % for girls), Georgia (54 % versus 30 %) and Albania (49 % versus 27 %). The largest gender differences where girls reported higher rates were found in Monaco (61 % for girls versus 51 % for boys), Bulgaria (60 % versus 51 %) and Malta (33 % versus 25 %).
Table 5. Cigarette use: prevalence of lifetime and 30-day use (percentage)Download XLS
a Official name former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Last 30 days
On average, 21 % of the students in the ESPAD countries had used cigarettes during the last 30 days. The highest rates were found in Italy (37 %), Bulgaria and Croatia (33 % each). Countries which reported last-30-day prevalence of 10 % or lower include Iceland (6 %), Moldova (9 %) and Norway (10 %). Countries with high smoking rates for boys were Italy, Romania and Croatia (31-35 %), and countries with high smoking rates for girls were Italy, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Croatia (34-40 %). The average ESPAD rates for boys and girls were about the same, and the gender rates were also close in most countries. In four countries, there are noticeable gender differences, with higher rates among boys than among girls: Georgia (26 % versus 9 %), Moldova (16 % versus 3 %), Albania (18 % versus 5 %) and Ukraine (23 % versus 13 %). In Monaco, rates were higher among girls than boys (33 % versus 20 %) as well as in Slovenia (25 % versus 19 %) and Malta (18 % versus 12 %).