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Tobacco Induced Diseases

Open Access

5-year trends in the intention to quit smoking amidst the economic crisis and after recently implemented tobacco control measures in Greece

  • Sotiria Schoretsaniti1Email author,
  • Filippos T Filippidis1,
  • Constantine I Vardavas2, 3, 4,
  • Christine Dimitrakaki1,
  • Panagiotis Behrakis2, 3, 4,
  • Gregory N Connolly2 and
  • Yannis Tountas1
Tobacco Induced Diseases201412(Suppl 1):A17

Published: 6 June 2014


The objective of the present study was to explore the trends in the intention to quit smoking among adults in Greece between 2006-2011, a period characterized by financial instability and newly endorsed tobacco control initiatives.

Materials and methods

Trends analysis of 3 representative national and cross-sectional surveys, ‘Hellas Health I’ (2006), “Hellas Health III” (2010) and Hellas Health IV (2011).


Since 2006, the intention to quit smoking has significantly increased among both genders (33.3% [in 2006] to 42.4% [in 2011], p=0.002), among respondents aged >54 years (26.9% [in 2006] to 45.1% [in 2011], p=0.019) and among residents of rural areas (26.4% [in 2006] to 46.7% [in 2011], p=0.001). Both highest (32.1% [in 2006] to 49.4% [in 2011], p=0.036) and lowest (31.7% to 46.0%, p=0.021) socioeconomic (SE) strata showed an increase in the proportion of smokers who intend to quit. However, in 2011, quit attempts were more frequent (35.3%, p=0.009) in smokers of high socioeconomic status. Moreover, smoking prevalence has significantly decreased (43.1% [in 2006] to 38.1% [in 2011], p=0.023), mainly among men (52.4% to 45.7%, p=0.037), respondents of low socioeconomic status (38.9% to 29.4%, p=0.008) and residents of urban areas (45.2% to 37.9%, p=0.005).


Over the past 5 years and possibly as a combined result of the implemented tobacco control policies and austerity measures, the intention to quit smoking has increased among all SE strata, however actual quit attempts were higher among those less disadvantaged. Further effort should be made to support quit attempts, especially among vulnerable populations.



The work was supported by the George D. Behrakis Foundation through the HEART project (Hellenic Action for Research against Tobacco).

Authors’ Affiliations

Center for Health Services Research, Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics,School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Center for Global Tobacco Control, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, West Boston, USA
Smoking and Lung Cancer Research Center, Hellenic Cancer Society, Athens, Greece
Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Athens, Greece


© Schoretsaniti et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.