“Croatia ranks third in Europe when it comes to teen smoking, according to experts who participated at a roundtable on youth tobacco and alcohol consumption, organized by the Croatian Public Health Institute.

Doctors attending the gathering backed a plan to raise excise taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, believing it will deter school-age children from consuming these products. The Croatian Employer’s Association, which represents some companies that produce tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, is opposed to the tax hike, claiming it will only drive up illegal sales.

Research into youth drinking and smoking in Croatia shows that 4% of boys and 1% of girls admit to having been intoxicated at least twice, according to Ivana Pavić Šimetin, the deputy director of the Public Health Institute. One of the problems is access to alcohol and tobacco in Croatia, which are cheaper than they are in other EU countries. Pavić Šimetin called for tougher restriction on the sale of alcohol and tobacco products, including raising taxes on these products.” (Voice of Croatia)