To describe the pattern of current smoking and its relation to socio-demographic factors in Estonia.
Nationwide cross-sectional survey.
Estonia in 1996.
Stratified random sample of 2086 adults aged 30–59.
Prevalence of current smoking; socio-demographic factors related to smoking, investigated by logistic regression analysis.
The prevalence of current smoking was 57.9% among men and 25.7% among women. For both genders, smoking rates were consistently lowest in the age group 50–59 years and highest in the age group 30–39 years. Smoking was significantly more common among divorced and widowed people. Education was associated with smoking among men but not among women. No relationship, however, was established between smoking and ethnicity, type of residence, and household income.
Estonia needs an effective antismoking policy. Public health efforts need to be focused on quitting smoking in younger adults and prevention efforts should target less educated socio-economic groups.