Perceptions, attitudes and preferences of Europeans regarding smoking and electronic cigarettes – empirical typologies and regional inequalities
Raisa Zamfirescu 
|Abstract: In a continuously changing and innovative society, for many, smoking remains a constant, a habit, a moment of relaxation or a moment of friendship. With a long history, marked by various habits and rituals, along the years, from an academic point of view, smoking has been analyzed multi and interdisciplinary, at a sociological level being set as a social construct with a strong impact on a large segment of a society, whatever the type, the dimension, the historical, the economical or the political context of it. Basing on the 87.1 Eurobarometer, in this research I am analyzing recent results regarding Europeans’ attitudes on smoking and on tobacco products, on the innovations in this field and also a classification of the types of smokers, corroborating these types with the “labels” used in everyday life – heavy smoker, occasionally smoker, social smoker etc. The hereby report comprises information gathered at European level, from the 28 member states of the European Union, having a total of 27,901 respondents, aged 15 or more. In order for the data to be representative and in order for us to be able to observe and to compare general tendencies at European and national level, data has been weighted. Also, in order to capture as well as possible and more eloquently public opinion on this subject and also the classification of the respondents in types of smokers, I have used the K-means type cluster analysis. According to the data obtained from the barometer, more than a quarter of respondents have been daily smokers for over 20 years now, while half of them declared that they have never smoked. Unlike the 2012 Eurobarometer, alongside with the motivations and the possible reasons that caused starting or giving up smoking, the 87.1 survey research emphasizes the electronic cigars and the way these have been contributing to the evolution of this habit.
Keywords: Smoking, types of smokers; survey research; Eurobarometer, cluster analysis;
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