Open Access Research article

Prevalence and factors associated with hardcore smoking in Poland: Findings from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (2009–2010)

Dorota Kaleta1*, Bukola Usidame2, Elżbieta Dziankowska-Zaborszczyk3, Teresa Makowiec-Dąbrowska4 and Mall Leinsalu56

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Preventive Medicine, Medical University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland

2 Department of Public Policy, McCormack Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA

3 Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Medical University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland

4 Department of Work Physiology and Ergonomics, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland

5 Stockholm Centre on Health of Societies in Transition, Södertörn University, Huddinge, Sweden

6 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, National Institute for Health Development, Tallinn, Estonia

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:583  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-583

Published: 11 June 2014



Estimating the prevalence of hardcore smoking and identifying linked factors is fundamental to improve planning and implementation of effective tobacco control measures. Given the paucity of data on that topic, we aimed to assess the prevalence of and factors associated with hardcore smoking in Poland.


We used data from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). GATS is a representative, cross-sectional, household based survey conducted in Poland between 2009 and 2010. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to explore the associations of socio-demographic and smoking related variables with hardcore smoking among daily smokers.


The prevalence of hardcore smoking was 10.0% (13.0% among men and 7.3% among women) in the whole population of Poland at age 26 years and above. Hardcore smokers constitute 39.9% (41.6% among men and 37.7% among women) of all daily smokers in analyzed age frame. Being older, having started smoking at earlier ages, living in large cities (in women only), being less aware of negative health effects of smoking, having less restrictions on smoking at home was associated with higher risk of being hardcore smoker. Educational attainment and economic activity were not associated with hardcore smoking among daily smokers.


High prevalence of hardcore smokers may be a grand challenge for curbing non-communicable diseases epidemic in Poland. Our findings should urge policy makers to consider hardcore smoking issues while planning and implementing tobacco control policies. Prevention of smoking uptake, education programs, and strengthening cessation services appeared to be the top priorities.

Tobacco smoking; Hardcore smoker; Socio-demographic factors; Adults; GATS; Poland