Background and objective: To analyse trends in cigarette consumption in Spain between 1945 and 1995.
Material and methods: Prevalence rates of daily cigarette smoking were derived from the individual information collected in the Spanish National Health Interview Surveys (1993, 1995 and 1997) for the period 1945-1995.
Results: In males, the prevalence rate in 1945 was 42.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 40,1-44,7%), increased till 59.1% in 1975 (95% CI, 58,0-60,2%), levelled-off during the decade 1975-1985, and decreased till 48.9% in 1995 (95% CI, 48,1-49,7%). In females, the prevalence rate of cigarette smoking was less than 5% till the 1970s, and it begun to steadily increase till the end of the study period (22,5%; 95% CI, 21,9-23,1%).
Conclusions: This analysis shows the different dynamics of the smoking epidemic among men and women in Spain.