Socio-demographic characteristics
Total     10 365 000          10 043 000     
Adult (15+)   8 268 0008 326 000
% Urban6264
% Rural3836

Health Status
Life expectancy at birth,1990:65,1 (males),73,7 (females)
 2000:67,1 (males)75,6 (females)
Infant mortality rate,1990:14.8 per 1000 live births
 2000:9.2 per 1000 live births

Deaths by sex
 males          females          total
1990:     76 93668 724145 660;
2000:70 47565 126135 601
Mortality by most frequent causes of death

Tumourous deaths
1990:17 64413 57731 221;
2000:18 91414 76533 679
Respiratory system deaths
Circulatory system deaths
1990:34 06635 62869 694;
2000:29 93033 81263 742
Mortality rates per hundred thousand inhabitants (2001):
Malignant neoplasm of trachea, bronchus and lung:   118,52;
Acute myocardial infarction:128,82;
Other ischaemic heart disease:171,97;
Cerebrovascular disease:172,58;
Bronchitis chr., emphysema pulm. and asthma:  40,05

Mortality from Tobacco Use
The age standardized death rates (per 100 000) from tumourous diseases are the highest in the world, and still increasing:
1994:    280.5

Since 1970, the annual number of tracheo-bronchial and lung cancer deaths in women has almost tripled, increasing from 647 to 2097 in 2000

Analytic survey reveal that we lose 76-80 persons a day and approximately 28-30 000 thousand a year due to smoking! A person dies every 20 minutes in Hungary as a consequence of smoking!

Socio-economic situation
GDP per capita:1998:982 552 HUF, 4077 EUR
 2000:1 287 906 HUF,4953 EUR

Average distribution of labour force by sector
 1992     2000
Agriculture:     11.36.5

Tobacco production, industry
Agriculture: In 2000: 5764 hectares were harvested for tobacco down from 6199 hectares in 1996. About 0.09 % of all arable land (agricultural area) is used for tobacco growing.

Industry: In 2002: 2000 people were employed by the tobacco industry. 10-12 000 families involved in tobacco farming and processing.

Pro-tobacco lobby groups: Cigarette Market Shares in 1999

Cigarette consumption
Cigarette turnover: 21.2 billion pieces/year (black market sales not included). Total cost of smoked cigarettes to smokers: around 300 billion HUF/year (1.5 billion USD)

Estimated proportion and number of smokers of population (age 15+):
35 % -- 2 914 100

Cigarette ration one smoker of population (pieces/year--day): 7275 - 20

Tar/Nicotine/Filters: In 2001, tar and nicotine levels of the most popular brand ranged from 1.0-15.0 and 0.1-1.2 mg. ---- Nearly 100 % of the cigarettes manufactured were filter-tipped.

The average retail price of a pack of 20 cigarettes: cca 400 HUF (1.7 USD)

Although precise statistics are not available it is estimated the up to 40.7 % of men and 27.3 of women smoke. Smoking rates among women are reportedly increasing!

Age pattern: Result a 1999 study, performed by the CDS/US and the Hungarian National Public Health and Medical Officer Service in Budapest, indicated that 44.9 of 15-18 year old boys smoked, as did 46.9 of the girls. This compares to a 1995 study of same year olds, where 36.7 % of the boys and 35.2 % of the girls smoked.

In 2000, smoking rates among men and women aged 30-49 years were 46-50 %, respectively 37-39 %

Tobacco control in Hungary
Legal and regulatory measures
Tobacco control programmes
2002-2003: A "National Tobacco Control Strategy" and an Action Plan for 2003 were developed by the Ministry of Health, Social and Family Affairs, as part of the newly adopted ten year comprehensive public health programme (Decade of Health - Béla Johan public health programme). The programme, adopted by the Parliament, is funded from the general budget and administered by the Public Health Programme Office.

More than 20 NGOs work in tobacco control in Hungary. The list includes Health 21 Hungarian Foundation (research, facilitation of collaboration and communication between actors, training of professionals, advocacy), the Hungarian Alliance for Tobacco Control (primarily smoking cessation), "Pápai Páriz" National Society of Health Education (school and community based programmes), National Smoke-Free Association (advocacy, litigation), the Hungarian League Against Cancer (community based programmes) and others (Hungarian Association of Health Promoting Schools, Hungarian National Alliance for Asthmatic and Allergic Patients). A new vocal organisation (Smokebusters' Association) aimed at promoting and enforcing tobacco control measures is given wide publicity in the press.

World No-Tobacco Day and the International No-Smoking Day are celebrated in Hungary every year.

Lajos Pákozdi, MD and Tibor Szilágyi, MD
(More informations: E-mails:,