January 11, 2011 - Swiss health authorities have launched their latest campaign to try to get smokers to kick the habit. The three-year campaign uses advertisements, leaflets in several languages targeting the immigrant population, cinema and television trailers as well as information on the Internet.
As part of the prevention drive, which will cost CHF 9.8 million (10,060,451.25 USD) USD), giveaways which look similar to cigarette packets are being handed out. The number of smokers had dropped to 23 percent of the population by 2007, but the decline is now stagnating, says the Federal Health Office. That figure puts Switzerland among the top third of nations with the highest percentage of smokers in Europe.
Most countries in the world have a legal smoking age of 18. One notorious exception is Switzerland, where the age is 16.
According to the study commissioned by the Federal Health Office, 27 per cent of the Swiss population aged 14-65 were smokers in 2009, the same percentage as in 2008, and a slight drop from the 33 per cent in 2001. The number of 20 to 24-year-olds who smoke on a daily basis is on the rise; it went up three per cent from 2008 to 2009.
In that age group, 28 per cent smoke daily, with another 11 per cent lighting up regularly – meaning that 39 per cent of Swiss people in their early 20s smoke. On the other hand, the youngest people surveyed seem less and less tempted by tobacco. In 2001, 31 per cent of 14-19-year-olds said they smoked; by 2009 the figure had gone down to 22 per cent. The number of people in Switzerland who have never smoked has steadily risen since 2001. For 2009, that figure was a decade-high of 54 per cent. (Swiss start to cut back smoking habit by Susan Vogel-Misicka, swissinfo.ch)
Reference: New anti-smoking campaign launched, World Radio Switzerland, 1/10/2011.
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