• July 24, 2024

Smoking Rates Still High in Switzerland

 Smoking Rates Still High in Switzerland
Photo: Taco Tuinstra

Nearly a quarter of Switzerland’s population (24 percent) smoked in 2022, down 3 percentage points from the rate in 2017, reports Le News, citing new data from the Federal Statistical Office. The decline in smoking is a relatively new phenomenon in Switzerland. In 1992, 30 percent of the population aged 15 and over reported smoking.

The reduction has been most pronounced among educated people. In 2022, Swiss without post-compulsory education smoked more frequently and more heavily than those who had completed a university or higher vocational education. This distinction too is new. Thirty years ago, there were hardly any differences in smoking by level of education.

New types of tobacco products or e-cigarettes are particularly popular among younger people, consumed by 17 percent of 15- to 24-year-olds in 2022.

Despite the recent declines, Swiss smoking rates remain high compared with many other nations. Rates in the U.K. (14 percent), Norway (14 percent), Canada (12 percent) and Australia (13 percent) are far lower.  

Meanwhile, public smoking remains widely tolerated in Switzerland. Many smokers will light up on train platforms, where it is largely banned, at bus stops or while seated at outside restaurant tables.