A recent study shows 83% of smokers in Switzerland think non-smokers should continue to cover tobacco-related health costs. Most non-smokers disagree.
The survey, done by Innofact AG on behalf of Comparis.ch, finds that 47% of the population smoke, a figure higher than other studies. 36% smoke daily, and 11% occasionally.
A Swiss government report puts the percentage at 32% for men and 24% for women.
Many smokers are unconcerned by the health risks. Only 42% of them fear tobacco-related illness. In French-speaking Switzerland, 47% worry about possible tobacco-related illnesses. This percentage falls to 38% in German-speaking Switzerland.
Male smokers care the least. 61% of them say they’re not bothered compared to 55% of women.
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And while 83% of smokers think non-smokers should bear the health costs of their lifestyle choices, most non-smokers disagree. 60% are against supporting the health costs of this self-inflicted damage.
Switzerland’s compulsory health insurance offers no discounts to non-smokers, something viewed as unfair by the majority of the non-smokers questioned.
Felix Schneuwly from Comparis.ch thinks the federal government should give insurance companies more room to maneuver to reward healthy behaviour with premium discounts.
Non-smoking discounts would push up premiums for smokers who would be forced to face the true cost of their choices, while everyone else paid less.
That would be a breath of fresh air for Switzerland’s non-smokers, stuck dodging smoke on train platforms.
Study press release – (in German)