Individual country trends for five key variables of lifetime use of substances between 1995 and 2015 are shown in Figures 26-30. Trends are illustrated graphically, with decreases of 3 or more percentage points between successive surveys indicated in green, increases of 3 or more percentage points in red, and unchanged situations in yellow (less than ± 3 percentage points). Temporal changes in countries with only two data points should be interpreted with caution.
Between 1995 and 2015, the lifetime prevalence of cigarette use decreased in all countries except Lithuania, where there was no change. In the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine, this decrease followed an initial increase until 2003. In Austria, Belgium (Flanders), Denmark, the Faroes, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden, the reduction in prevalence between 2003 and 2015 amounts to 20 percentage points or more (Figure 26). Only three countries do not follow the overall trend, but show stable prevalence rates over the last three surveys (Montenegro, Poland and Romania).
The prevalence of lifetime alcohol use showed reductions between 1995 and 2015 in most countries. In Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway and Sweden, substantial reductions of about 15 percentage points or more can be observed (Figure 27). Lifetime prevalence remained rather unchanged in Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, the Faroes, Hungary and Slovenia. The only country where alcohol use increased was Croatia, with prevalence rising by 10 percentage points.
In most of the participating countries, the prevalence of lifetime cannabis use increased between 1995 and 2003/2007. Decreases in prevalence since then can be seen in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Slovenia and Ukraine. In contrast, increases in this period occurred in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Poland and Romania. Generally lower rates of lifetime cannabis use in 2015 compared to 1995 can be observed in Denmark, the Faroes, Ireland and Ukraine (Figure 28).
The lifetime prevalence of inhalant use was quite stable in more than one third of the countries. A pronounced peak can be observed in 2011 for Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Monaco and Slovenia, although rates have since returned to approximately the level observed in 2007 in most countries. Decreases since 2011 were observed in Belgium (Flanders), Croatia, the Faroes, France, Hungary, Malta, Monaco, Romania, Slovenia and Sweden (Figure 29).
The prevalence of lifetime use of tranquillisers or sedatives without a doctor’s prescription was generally quite stable. Between 2011 and 2015, decreasing rates were found in Cyprus, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania and Monaco. In contrast, the Czech Republic, Montenegro and Slovakia showed an increase in lifetime use of tranquillisers and sedatives in the same time period (Figure 30).
Figure 26. Lifetime use of cigarettes by country: 1995-2015 (percentage)
Figure 27. Lifetime alcohol use of alcohol by country: 1995-2015 (percentage)
Figure 28. Lifetime use of cannabis by country: 1995-2015 (percentage)
Figure 29. Lifetime use of inhalants by country: 1995-2015 (percentage)
Figure 30. Lifetime use of tranquillisers or sedatives without a doctor’s prescription by country: 1995-2015 (percentage)