Time and generational trends in smoking among men and women in Great Britain, 1972-2004/05

Health Stat Q. Winter 2006;(32):35-43.


This article examines General Household Survey data from 1972 to 2004/05. It describes trends in cigarette smoking over time, observes how prevalence by age has changed over the last four decades, then examines pseudo-cohort trends in cigarette smoking for both men and women in Great Britain. The findings show that, for men, there were generational reductions in smoking prevalence, and when this trend began to slow, a trend for generational reductions in heavy smoking started. The remaining smokers were less likely to smoke 20 or more cigarettes than those in previous cohorts. However both these trends have now stopped, suggesting the levels of cigarette consumption we are observing today among men may be maintained in future generations if these patterns continue.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / trends*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Time Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology