Smoking has seen a vast decline in recent decades. Till a few years ago, there were large numbers of people who openly and fearlessly lit up anytime and anywhere. There were no legislations restricting or banning smoking and the extent of the health risks were still not proven.
In recent years, however, anti-smoking legislation has made it difficult for anyone to smoke, especially in the United States. Smoking laws restricting smoking to those above the age of 18 went into effect a decade ago and are now enforced in most states. While smoking may be on the decline in the United States by 25 percent in recent years, there are some countries where smoking is still very popular and is considered to be socially acceptable.
Poland is one of the top countries when it comes to smoking. Statistics show that 5 out of 10 adults in Poland smoke cigarettes. There is no age restriction when it comes to smoking in Poland and no restrictions when it comes to smoking indoors as well as in restaurants or hotels.
Greece is another of the top smoking countries with an estimated 4.5 out of 10 people smoking. Greece does not have any laws regulating smoking age nor are there any laws regulating smoking in public places.
Hungary is the third most popular country for smokers with 3.5 out of 10 people in the country smoking. There are no laws against smoking in Hungary regarding age or public place restrictions.
Japan is the fourth most popular country for smoking. Japan has actually seen an increase in smoking in recent years as 3 out of 10 Japanese adults are smokers.
Lithuania is the fifth most common country for smoking. There are no restrictions on age smoking in this country as is the case with drinking. It is estimated that just under 3 out of 10 people in this country smoke cigarettes, although the study was comprised of adults smoking cigarettes, so it is possible that this country has even more smokers than indicative of the study.
Since 1980, there has been a dramatic decrease in the amount of smoking in the United States which is down 42 percent since that decade. France is another country that has decreased smoking significantly and is down 19 percent since 1985. China has seen a decrease in smoking of 8 percent since 1990.
Traditionally, European countries have a higher smoking rate than the United States. The United Kingdom has a smoking rate of 1.5 out of 10 smokers, although smoking is becoming increasingly restricted in public places in that country. Other European countries have also begun to try to curtail smoking
by banning it in public places, including restaurants.
In countries like the United States, which used to have a very high smoking rate, most smokers cite health concerns as well as the price of cigarettes for giving up the habit. Public smoking bans have also curtailed smoking in this country as they are in effect in many of the states. In most countries throughout the world, smoking is no longer viewed as a socially acceptable habit, which is one of the reasons that experts give for many people giving up this habit.