One in four EU citizens over 15 years old (24%) is a tobacco smoker, according to Eurostat. Spain comes in just above this average with 25.3%.
23% of Spanish residents are regular smokers and 2.4% are occasional smokers, Eurostat revealed on Wednesday (7 December), using data from 2014.
These figures places Spain firmly in the middle of the EU ranking, along with the Netherlands (25.2%) and Romania (25.7%).
Bulgaria (34.7%) and Greece (32.6%) have by far the highest proportions of smokers, while Sweden (16.7%) and the United Kingdom (17.2%) have the lowest.
The EU’s statistics office described smoking as “one of the largest avoidable health risks in the EU [linked to] many forms of cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases”.
On average, European men (28.7%) are more likely to smoke than women (19.5%). This proportion is borne out in Spain, where 30.4% of men and 20.5% of women are smokers.
The study also addressed passive smoking, finding that one in five Europeans are exposed to indoor tobacco smoke on a daily basis.
Greece tops the list, with 64.2% of citizens exposed to second-hand smoke, followed by Croatia (44.7%) and Bulgaria (40.5%). The countries with the lowest rates of passive smoking are Sweden (5.9%), Finland (6.3%) and Portugal (8.6%).
With 15.5% of its population over 15 years old breathing in second-hand smoke on a daily basis, Spain is well below the EU average (21.6%).