OBJECTIVES: (a) to examine exposure to ETS in 5 European countries that differ in their tobacco control (TC) activity, (b) to examine attitudes towards TC measures and (c) to relate these results to sociodemographic and smoking related variables. METHODS: population-based, representative sample of n = 3,500 participants age 16-59, in Germany, Greece, Poland, Sweden, UK. RESULTS: most never smokers are exposed to ETS in leisure time (55.74%); chances of being exposed to ETS at home or outside of the home are dependent on sex, smoking status, country, whether there are smokers in the households, what the status of the relationship is (single vs. not single); results differ significantly between countries. CONCLUSION: smoking restrictions are associated with lower levels of actual exposure to ETS. non-smokers want governmental regulation.