Progress in Tobacco Control in 30 European Countries 2005 to 2007

The results are shown in Tables 3 to 6. Table 3 shows the average sub-scale and total scores in 2005 and 2007; Table 4 shows the TCS scores for the 30 countries in 2007; Table 5 shows the TCS scores for the 30 countries in 2005 (1); and Table 6 compares scores and ranks from 2005 and 2007 and shows how much a country’s score and rank has risen or fallen.

Table 3 shows that the average overall score has risen over the much, from 47 to 52, just 5 points out of the scale maximum of 100. Furthermore, only three of the six sub-scales show increases – smoke-free public places, tobacco control spending and advertising bans – and again they are small. There is no increase in average scores for price, health warnings and treatment.

The most notable results in the main table (Table 4) are the sharp increases in scores in a handful of countries: UK, Estonia, Spain, Romania, Switzerland, Lithuania, Latvia and Luxembourg. In the table we have highlighted in shading countries that increased their score by 10 points or more. The biggest gain is shown by the UK, as a result of introducing laws two years, although not by banning smoking in public places, first in Scotland in March 2006, then in Wales and Northern Ireland in April 2007, and finally in England on 1 July 2007. The score for this policy rises from 1 point in 2005 to 21 points (maximum is 22 points), taking the UK into top place at the expense of Ireland. Table 6 summarises the changes in scores and shows, perhaps surprisingly, that several countries have actually lost points. Norway and Cyprus lost 5 points each, both mainly points on prices. In Norway, for example, a pack of cigarettes went up to € 8, but taking into account the cost and standard of living, which rose even more, this did not represent a real increase.

Estonia increased their scores mainly on smoke-free public places and better health warnings. Spain increased their overall score by a huge 24 points, mainly on smoke-free public places and an advertising ban. Romania almost doubled its overall score from 27 to 50, improving on price, an advertising ban and health warnings. Switzerland improved their tobacco control spending, health warnings and treatment provision. Lithuania improved a lot on smoke-free public places, and a little on treatment. Latvia increased their score a lot on smoke-free public places, and modestly on tobacco control spending, and advertising restrictions. Finally Luxembourg moved off the bottom of the table, to be replaced by Austria, by increasing their smoke-free public places and advertising restrictions scores.

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