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Predicting the future prevalence of cigarette smoking in Australia: how low can we go and by when?
  1. C E Gartner,
  2. J J Barendregt,
  3. W D Hall
  1. The University of Queensland, School of Population Health, Herston, Queensland, Australia
  1. Dr C E Gartner, The University of Queensland, School of Population Health, Level 2, Public Health Building, Herston Road, Herston, Queensland 4006, Australia; c.gartner{at}


Background: In Australia, smoking prevalence has declined in men since the 1950s and in women since the 1980s. Future smoking prevalence in Australia is predicted from estimates of previous and current age-specific and sex-specific cessation rates and smoking uptake in young people derived from national survey data on the prevalence of smoking between 1980 and 2007.

Methods: A dynamic forecasting model was used to estimate future smoking prevalence in the Australian population based on a continuation of these current trends in smoking uptake and cessation.

Results: The results suggest that Australia’s smoking prevalence will continue to fall while current rates of initiation and cessation are maintained. But a continuation of current smoking cessation and initiation patterns will see around 14% of adults still smoking in 2020.

Conclusions: Smoking cessation rates will need to double for Australian smoking prevalence to reach a policy target of 10% by 2020.

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  • Funding: This research was funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant 396402, Future of Tobacco Control. CEG was supported by a NHMRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship.

  • Competing interests: None.