Tobacco smoking in Bulgaria damages the country’s economy to the tune of about 165 million leva; or by the equivalent of 10 percent of its GDP, according to a story in The Sofia Globe quoting the For Life Without Tobacco Smoke coalition.

The coalition said also that the economic cost of smoking was borne not only by smokers, but by non-smokers, because the treatment of smoking-related illnesses was paid for by all taxpayers.

At the same time, employers suffered from the loss of productivity among employees who smoked.

According to a report compiled by the coalition, more than 28 percent of adolescents in Bulgaria are regular smokers.

And, in contrast to the situation in most other countries, where smoking is more prevalent among people on lower incomes, in Bulgaria the highest proportion of smokers is among people with the highest incomes.

Also in contrast to the situation in other countries, in Bulgaria smoking is more prominent among teenage girls than among teenage boys. 

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