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Smoking Prevention in the Balkans

Project Concept

Tobacco use in the Balkans is extremely widespread, both in private and in public. Existing prevention strategies are largely weak or ineffective, and there is a considerable dearth of empirical studies on tobacco control and smoking behaviour. The Smoking Prevention in the Balkans (SPiB) Project (Grant Number: C3841/A8924) was build on the basis of previous doctoral research (Lazuras, 2007) on the effects of social norms on adolescent and young adult smoking in Greece.

The main objective of the SPiB project is to extend these findings to other populations in the wider Balkan area through cross cultural research, and critically examine social psychological assumptions about the effects of norms on behaviour. This includes both the investigation of the relationship between norms, attitudes, intentions and smoking behaviour, as well as the relationship between social norms and acceptance/support of tobacco control policies. To this end, current research endeavours aim to explore these relationships in various social settings, including the workplace, hospitals, schools, and public places.

Nonetheless, along with conducting empirical research the SPiB project is committed to networking and development of alliances and research collaborations with leading experts on the field at a national and international level. This provides the opportunity to extend the current project into larger scale research collaborations supporting ongoing research at a global level, and also influencing tobacco control policies and related research at a European level through coordinated research activities.

Finally, in an attempt to bridge the gap between scientific research and society, the SPiB project foresees actions that will increase the public's awareness about the dangers of smoking and strengthen support for tobacco control policies.

The overall aims of the SPiB project are as follows:

  • Investigate the relationships between smoking attitudes, intentions and behaviour

  • Study the acceptability of and compliance with tobacco control policies

  • Assess perceived prevalence of smoking within participants' peers and the general population

  • Examine the impact of anti-smoking policies and related regulations described in the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) on smokers' behaviour

  • Create networks with experts in tobacco control and smoking research at a regional and international level

  • Build research capacity through the recruitment and training of students

  • Increase the general public's awareness about the dangers of smoking and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS)

  • Enhance public's support for tobacco control policies

Project Results

  1. Prevalence of and variations in smoking behaviour in the general population in the Balkans
  2. Reported support for and acceptance of tobacco control policies in public places, workplaces, and educational settings
  3. Associations between cognitive and motivational forces of smoking initiation during adolescence
  4. Effects of social norms on young people's smoking behaviour
  5. Impact of tobacco control policies on smokers' behaviour
  6. Establishment of networks with tobacco control experts from the Balkan region and other countries
  7. Increase in public's awareness about smoking-related health harms and dangers, and support for tobacco control policies


01/10/2007 - 30/09/2010

SEERC Budget

22.000 €


Cancer Research UK - Tobacco Advisory Group (TAG)


Participating Researchers

  • Dr Lambros Lazuras, SEERC

Related Publications

Click here to view publications related to this project

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