Smoking epidemic in Europe in the 21st century

F. Janssen (Corresponding author), S. El-Gewily, A. Bardoutsos

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Objective To estimate smoking-attributable mortality in the long-term future in 29 European countries using a novel data-driven forecasting approach that integrates the wave pattern of the smoking epidemic and the cohort dimension.

Methods We estimated and forecasted age-specific and age-standardised smoking-attributable mortality fractions (SAMF) and 95% projection intervals for 29 European countries by sex, 1950–2100, using age-period-cohort modelling with a generalised logit link function. We projected the (decelerating) period increases (women) by a quadratic curve to obtain future declines, and extrapolated the past period decline (men). In addition, we extrapolated the recent cohort trend.

Results SAMF among men are projected to decline from, on average, 25% in 2014 (11% (Sweden)—41% (Hungary)) to 11% in 2040 (range: 6.3%–15.4%), 7% in 2065 (range: 5.9%–9.4%) and 6% in 2100. SAMF among women in 21 non-Eastern European countries, currently at an average of 16%, are projected to reach peak levels in 2013 (Northern Europe), 2019 (Western Europe), 2027 (Greece, Italy) and 2022 (Central Europe), with maximum levels of, on average, 17% (8% (Greece)—28% (Denmark)), and to decline to 10% in 2040 (range: 4%–20%), 5% in 2065 (range: 3.5%–7.6%) and 4% in 2100. For women, a short-term shift in the peak of the inverse U-shaped age pattern to higher ages is projected, and crossovers between the age-specific trends.

Conclusion Our novel forecasting method enabled realistic estimates of the mortality imprint of the smoking epidemic in Europe up to 2100. The high peak values in smoking-attributable mortality projected for women warrant attention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-529
JournalTobacco Control
Issue number5
Early online date07 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2021


  • smoking epidemic
  • mortality
  • Europe
  • 21st century


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