20 years of Polish Tobacco Control

Developments in Tobacco Control

Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the Polish Tobacco Control Bill, Health Promotion Foundation has now published a series of articles documenting the developments in tobacco control in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe.

In the 1980s Poland was the country with the highest cigarette consumption in the world and the highest smoking prevalence in Europe. Following the Tobacco Control Bill implemented in 1996, a series of measures were introduced including large health warnings on cigarette packs and a complete ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Health Promotion Foundation President and Founder, Prof. Witold Zatonski, notes that the publications mark the substantial advances in Polish tobacco control and public health since the 1980s. “The reason I became interested in tobacco control was the dramatic rise of lung cancer morbidity in Poland, which by the 1980s reached one of the highest levels in the world. For a physician and health advocate, being able to observe a halving of cancer rates during my professional life has been an extremely gratifying experience.”

The prevalence of daily smoking among Polish men declined from 62% in 1982 to 28% in 2014. This was followed by the substantial improvement of life expectancy in Poland, which increased at one of the fastest rates in the world in the 1990s.

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