Global Epidemic

Poland

Consumption

  • Approximately a third (30 percent) of the population in Poland smokes tobacco, with an estimated 37 percent of men and 24 percent of women who smoke.
  • Among youth (age 13-15), nearly 19 percent smoke cigarettes, and 7 percent use tobacco products other than cigarettes.

Health Consequences

  • Smoking kills approximately 75,000 people a year in Poland.
  • In 2000, 38 percent of male deaths occurring between the ages of 35-69 were attributed to smoking.
  • Among youth (age 13-15), 90 percent are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places and 87 percent are exposed to secondhand smoke at home.

Tobacco Industry

International tobacco companies dominate Poland’s cigarette market, holding almost 99 percent of the market share. In 2008, Philip Morris International held 38 percent of market share, followed by British American Tobacco (33 percent), Imperial Tobacco Group (23 percent) and Japan Tobacco (5 percent). In Poland, more than 63 million cigarettes were sold in 2008. Poland is a growing source of illicit cigarettes for other European Union countries.

FCTC Status

Poland ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on September 15, 2006.

Tobacco Policy Status Update

Smoke Free Places: Smoking is restricted in all indoor public utility areas. Designated smoking areas may be established in any of these places, except in certain forms of public transportation. The law provides a fine for smokers who violate the law, but places no responsibility on business owners to prohibit smoking outside of designated smoking areas. Local jurisdictions may establish additional smoke free areas, but may not enact laws that are otherwise more stringent than the national law.

Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship: Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship is banned with few exceptions. Tobacco companies are still allowed to advertise at point of sale via product displays, through internet product sales (which inherently involve advertising and promotion), and on product packaging, labeling, and inserts (although subject to some restrictions). Financial or other sponsorship or support by the tobacco industry is permitted, although publicity of such sponsorship is limited.

Tobacco Packaging and Labeling: Warning labels are text-only and cover 30 percent of the front and 40 percent of the back of the package. Misleading descriptors such as “light” and “mild” are banned. It is uncertain to what extent smokeless tobacco products, with the exception of snuff, carry health warnings. Snuff packages are required to carry one text-only warning, which must cover 30 percent of the largest and most visible display area of a package.

Tobacco Taxation and Prices: The World Health Organization recommends raising tobacco excise taxes so that they account for at least 70 percent of retail prices. Tobacco excise taxes in Poland are below these recommendations.

Updated: April 2014