Attitudes of young people towards smoking1

The reports on this topic provide information on the development of the smoking behavior of young people in Switzerland 14 to 19 years of age. Information is also provided on estimates of future smoking behavior in young people, smoking behavior among peers, reasons for smoking and for not smoking, the image of young people that smoke, smoking as a topic of discussion in the schools, the purchasing of tobacco products, promotional gifts for young people by cigarette manufacturers, and assessment of the danger of various substances.

Image of smokers is more negativ as for non-smokers

A comparison with the data of the preceding years shows that the percentage of smokers in the 14- to 19-year-old Swiss resident population has decreased from 29% in the years 2001/02 to 22% in 2009/10. The decrease of the smokers’ rate is most notable in the French-speaking region of Switzerland. In the other language regions the percentage of smokers remained nearly unchanged. In 2009/10 daily smokers indicate that they smoke 11.1 cigarettes per day on average, whereas the occasional smokers smoke 1.5 cigarettes per day. Generally, adolescents estimate the image of smokers more negative than the image of non-smokers. Surprising is the lack of in-group favouritism. Non smokers as well as smokers perceive a more positive image of their non-smoking peers than of their smoking peers. Positive qualities are more often attributed to non-smokers, negative qualities more often to smokers, by both smokers and non-smokers. The smokers solely ascribe the positive qualities ‚sociable’ and ‚more the bon-vivant’ more often to their smoking in-group than to the non-smokers.

Research report 2001-2009/10
Short report 2001-2009/10
Fact sheet 2001-2009/10
Radtke, T., Keller, R., Bütikofer, A., & Hornung, R. (2011). Perception of smokers: Results from the Tobacco Monitoring Switzerland. SUCHT, 57, 131-139.

(Publication date of the research report: October 2011)

1Radtke, T., Keller, R., Krebs, H. & Hornung, R. (2011). Der Tabakkonsum Jugendlicher und junger Erwachsener in den Jahren 2001 bis 2009/10. Tabakmonitoring – Schweizerische Umfrage zum Tabakkonsum. Zürich: Psychologisches Institut der Universität Zürich, Sozial- und Gesundheitspsychologie.


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