Belgium

Belgium - country profile

Cigarettes in Belgium

The prevalence of current smokers in the general population in Belgium was 7% lower (at 19%) in 2017 than it was in 2006 (26%). Prevalence has fluctuated during this period but the trend has been decreasing steadily since 2009. These data come from the Eurobarometer surveys, the most recent of which was carried out in 2017. In the most recent survey a total of 27,901 respondents from different social and demographic groups were interviewed face-to-face at home, in their mother tongue, across all 28 of the EU countries. The sample for each country is representative, however the sample sizes are relatively small (e.g. most countries had just over 1000, participants but for Italy, Malta and Lithuania the sample was around 500). Nevertheless, the Eurobarometer surveys are useful as they have estimates for smoking prevalence collected over a number of years which can show trends, as described here.

Tobacco smoking prevalence

Number of current smokers:
Adult current tobacco smoking prevalence:
25.0%
A
filter_drama
Adult current tobacco smoking prevalence (female):
Adult current tobacco smoking prevalence (male):
A
(1) WHO global report on trends in prevalence of tobacco use 2000-2025, third edition. (2019). World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/who-global-report-on-trends-in-prevalence-of-tobacco-use-2000-2025-third-edition. (2) Department of Economic and Social Affairs (Ed.). (2019). World Population Prospects 2019 (Online Edition Rev. 1.; Population Division). United Nations. https://population.un.org/wpp/Download/Standard/Population/

Smoking-related mortality

Annual number of deaths attributable to tobacco smoking:
Annual number of deaths attributable to tobacco smoking (female):
Annual number of deaths attributable to tobacco smoking (male):
Annual percentage of all deaths attributable to tobacco smoking:
Annual percentage of all deaths attributable to tobacco smoking (female):
Annual percentage of all deaths attributable to tobacco smoking (male):
A
The Tobacco Atlas. Available at: https://tobaccoatlas.org/topic/deaths/ Data source: GBD 2016 Risk Factors Collaborators.

Nicotine Vaping Devices (E-cigarettes) in Belgium

Belgium abides by the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) (2014). While e-cigarettes are legal in Belgium, the use of them is prohibited in enclosed public places and on public transportation by the Tobacco Control Law. The royal decree of 28th October 2016, transposing the EU TPD into Belgian law, came into force on 17th January 2017. It includes retail restrictions, including the ban on online sales. Health warnings on packaging are required in Dutch, French & German. Internet sales and e-cigarette advertising are banned. Vaping is banned wherever smoking is banned, with possible fines ranging from €208 to €8,000 . It is also prohibited to vape in an e-cigarette shop. A new law banning vaping (and smoking) in vehicles carrying children is expected. Read more >>.

Prevalence

Adult current e-cigarette vaping prevalence:
4.0%
1
A
smoking_rooms
Ever tried e-cigarette vaping:
A
European Commission (2017). Special Eurobarometer 458: Attitudes of Europeans towards tobacco and electronic cigarettes Available at: http://data.europa.eu/euodp/en/data/dataset/S2146_87_1_458_ENG
1
Eurobarometer data provides a representative sample of ~28,000 respondents and estimates the prevalence of vaping for the EU overall, as well as per country. The survey was conducted in March 2017. Covers 28 European Union (EU) countries. Total sample N = 27901, aged 15 and over.

Product promotion

Health claims allowed:
No
Advertising is regulated:
Yes
1
1
Allowed or banned at place of sale or allowed or banned in all media.

Regulation

Regulatory status:
Allowed
A
widgets blur_circular
Regulated as medicinal product:
Yes
A
Regulated as tobacco product:
Yes
A
A
Data cross-referenced where possible using the following sources :1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/ ; 2. Global tobacco control website. Available at:https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052 ; 3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

Availability

Legal to buy device online - personal use:
No
Legal to buy nicotine online - personal use:
No
Legal to import device - trade:
Yes
Legal to import nicotine - trade:
Yes
Legal to sell device:
Yes
Legal to sell nicotine:
Yes
Legal to purchase without prescription:
Yes
healing

Regulations and restrictions

Notifications of new products required:
Yes
Child and tamperproof containers required:
Yes
Health warning on packaging required:
Yes
Minimum age restrictions on sales:
Yes
18 years
A
Restrictions on nicotine content:
Yes
Legal restrictions on use in public places:
Yes
Restrictions on tank size:
Yes
A
https://ec.europa.eu/health/tobacco/products/revision_en

Perception of harm

Don't know:
Not harmful, or less harmful than cigarettes:
Harmful, or more harmful than cigarettes:
A
Reference: European Commission (2017). Special Eurobarometer 458: Attitudes of Europeans towards tobacco and electronic cigarettes Available at: http://data.europa.eu/euodp/en/data/dataset/S2146_87_1_458_ENG
1
Question asked in this survey did not compare harmfulness with cigarettes. The question used was 'Do you think they are harmful to the health of people who use them?' 62% - YES, 34% - NO, 4% DON'T KNOW

Snus in Belgium

There are no comments specific to snus in Belgium in the database.

Regulation

Regulatory status:
Banned
A
filter_drama blur_circular
A
Tobacco Tactics website available at: http://tobaccotactics.org/index.php/Snus:_EU_Ban_on_Snus_Sales

Availability

Legal to import product for trade:
No
Legal to import product for personal use:
Yes
Legal to buy product online:
No
Legal to use product:
Yes

Heated Tobacco Products in Belgium

There are no comments specific to heated tobacco products in Belgium in the database.

Regulation

Regulatory status:
No specific law
A
filter_drama widgets
A
Philip Morris International website. Available at: https://www.pmi.com/smoke-free-products/iqos-our-tobacco-heating-system

Availability

Products are marketed:
No
A
healing
A
Philip Morris International website. Available at: https://www.pmi.com/smoke-free-products/iqos-our-tobacco-heating-system

Nicotine Replacement Therapy in Belgium

There are no comments specific to nicotine replacement therapy in Belgium in the database.

Product promotion

Market size:
18.70 million €
A
Market size per smoker:
A
Consumer Health: Euromonitor from trade sources/national statistics. Date Exported: 8/9/2019. (c) Euromonitor International 2019

Availability

Legal to purchase without prescription:
Yes
A
filter_drama
Products are marketed:
Yes
A
blur_circular
Place available:
Pharmacy
A
A
WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2019. https://www.who.int/tobacco/global_report/en/ (2019).