Austria's smoking rate among the world's highest: experts

08:45, May 27, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Austrian experts sounded warnings Wednesday on the grim situation facing anti-smoking campaigns in the country, saying its smoking rate was among the world's highest.

About 2.5 million, or 60 percent, of those in the 20-50 age group were regular or occasional smokers in Austria, said Horst Olschewski, director of the Pulmonary Division at the Graz University Hospital.

"This is actually a world record," Olschewski told a press conference on a restaurant smoking ban ahead of the World No Tobacco Day on May 31.

About 24 percent of the boys around 15 years old smoke cigarrettes, as do 30 percent of the girls of the same age, both quite high, he said.

Otto Burghuber, former chairman of the Association of Pulmonologists Austria, said regular smokers account for 41 percent of those aged 15 to 20, with another 8 percent being occasional smokers.

Austria has had in place a ban on smoking in restaurants since early 2009, requiring all restaurants with a business floor area of more than 50 square meters to have non-smoking areas. Authorities were mulling over a plan to implement a full ban on smoking in restaurants.

Sylvia Hartl, vice president of the Austrian Association for Pneumology, called for a full ban on smoking in restaurants and prevention to be made an important part of national healthcare.

"Prevention (of smoking) should be given priority," she said.

She also called for the introduction of heavy duties on tobacco to make manufacturers pay for treatment of addiction.

The United Kingdom and the Netherlands have begun to implement free medical treatment to people who voluntarily giving up smoking.

The experts, however, acknowledged fighting smoking was not easy.

Only 19 percent of the respondents in a recent survey in Austria supported a full ban on smoking in restaurants.

Source: Xinhua


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Rescue workers and local residents search for survivors after a building collapsed in old Delhi, India, Sept. 27, 2011. At least 10 people were killed and 35 injured when an old three-storey building collapsed. More than a dozen people are still feared trapped under the debris, police said. (Xinhua/Partha Sarkar)
  • A visitor has flying experience in the windmill castle of Jinshitan National Holiday resort in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Sept. 27, 2011. The castle is a 23-meter-high building with 21 meters in diameter. The castle uses wind tunnel to make objects floating in the air. It is the first indoor stadium in China, which enables people to have flying experience. (Xinhua/Zhang Chunlei)
  • An Indian artist colours clay idols of Goddess Durga for the upcoming Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, capital of eastern Indian state West Bengal on Sept. 27, 2011. The festival celebrates the homecoming of Mother Goddess Durga and the victory of good over evil, dramatized by the goddess' demolition of the evil buffalo demon, Mahishasura. (Xinhua/Tumpa Mondal)
  • A model presents a creation of new upcoming designer Sergei Grinko at the Milan Fashion Week Women's Wear Spring/Summer 2012 in Milan, northern Italy, Sept. 27, 2011. The Milan fashion week closed on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Wang Qingqin)
  • Yu Guangyao (2nd R), president of Shanghai Shentong Metro Co., Ltd, bows his apology at a press conference on the subway trains collision accident happened Tuesday afternoon, in east China's Shanghai Municipality, Sept. 27, 2011. By 8:30 p.m. (1230 GMT) Tuesday, a total of 271 injured people in the accident have received medical treatment in hospitals, among them 180 have been dispatched. Other 61 injured people are still in hospital, in which 30 are under emergency observations. No critical injuries have been reported. (Xinhua/Chen Fei)
  • Children visit the Confucian temple in Tainan, southeast China's Taiwan, Sept. 27, 2011. A ceremony will be held at the temple to commemorate Confucius (551-479 BC) on Sept. 28, the birthday of the ancient Chinese thinker and educationist and the annual Teacher's Day of Taiwan in honor of him. (Xinhua/Ren Zhenglai)
Hot Forum Discussion