Round Table on the Use of Tobacco Products and Smoking Control Policy Measures

Venue: Online (Podgorica)

Date: 25.11.2020

On 25 November 2020, the Institute for Socio-Economic Analysis (ISEA) organized a Round Table on the topic "Research on the Use of Tobacco Products and Smoking Control Policy Measures in Montenegro", which was held online, due to the overall situation with the Covid-19 virus.

Since 2018, the NGO ISEA has been engaged in a regional project, which includes the countries of the Western Balkans, and whose research goal in the last 3 years has been to analyse the impact of increasing excise taxes on the price and demand for tobacco products. The project holder is the Institute of Economic Sciences from Belgrade, and the project is being carried out in cooperation with the University of Chicago and the Bloomberg Initiative To Reduce Tobacco.

During 2020, the research included the analysis of data from the survey on the use of tobacco products in Montenegro (the survey was conducted in the second half of 2019), and it covered a total of 1,000 adult respondents. The members of the ISEA team at the Round Table presented the main findings related to the use of tobacco products in Montenegro, under different socio-demographic groups (prevalence, initiation, smoking intensity). The economic aspects were specifically presented, which included the expenses of smokers on tobacco products. The subject of the analysis, which was also presented at the Round Table, were the effects of the application of measures to reduce and limit smoking on the use of tobacco products in Montenegro (prevention and smoking cessation, exposure to tobacco smoke and promotion of tobacco products).

"Both prevalence and intensity of smoking are high in Montenegro, with similar findings among men and women (40.2% and 40.7%, respectively). The average number of cigarettes smoked each day is 19.7. Exposure to second-hand smoking is high in Montenegro, both at home and in public spaces. There may be a lack of understanding about the dangers of SHS given that 4 out of 5 non-smoking adults allow smoking in their homes, but only 2 out of 5 believe that they are not exposed to this type of smoking. Tobacco control policies have a widespread support, with 50% of adults reporting that they believe all of the policy measures they were asked about will be useful. These are just key research results, and we invite all interested parties to download the entire research from our website and familiarize themselves with other data ( ", it was announced from ISEA.

The Round Table was attended by all important stakeholders whose activities are related to tobacco taxation policy and other measures concerning tobacco consumption in Montenegro (Ministry of Finance, Tobacco Agency, MONSTAT, civil sector), as well as the representatives of the Institute of Economic Sciences in Belgrade, who are the regional coordinators of the project. Because of the current situation with COVID-19 epidemic, representatives from Ministry of Health, Institute for Public Health and WHO were not able to participate (the materials will be available). After the presented results, the participants in the discussion agreed that such research was very useful, because it provided a basis for action and adoption of policies and strategies based on scientific results. Stakeholders gave recommendations for further research, and agreed to work together on their implementation. The suggestion from executive director of Statistical office in Montenegro was to cooperate in further development of tobacco indicators for the purpose of official statistics.

The conclusion was to decrease the high prevalence and consumption by increasing prices, through an appropriate excise policy. Systematic monitoring of adopted policies is also important, in order to make their implementation more effective. It is especially important to educate youth as a target group about the harmfulness of smoking, but also to organize more intensive media campaigns to raise awareness.

Presentation of the event - download here