The effect of tobacco control policies on smoking prevalence and smoking-attributable deaths. Findings from the Netherlands SimSmoke Tobacco Control Policy Simulation Model

Addiction. 2012 Feb;107(2):407-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03642.x. Epub 2011 Sep 26.


Aim: To develop a simulation model projecting the effect of tobacco control policies in the Netherlands on smoking prevalence and smoking-attributable deaths.

Design, setting and participants: Netherlands SimSmoke-an adapted version of the SimSmoke simulation model of tobacco control policy-uses population, smoking rates and tobacco control policy data for the Netherlands to predict the effect of seven types of policies: taxes, smoke-free legislation, mass media, advertising bans, health warnings, cessation treatment and youth access policies.

Measurements: Outcome measures were smoking prevalence and smoking-attributable deaths.

Findings: With a comprehensive set of policies, as recommended by MPOWER, smoking prevalence can be decreased by as much as 21% in the first year, increasing to a 35% reduction in the next 20 years and almost 40% by 30 years. By 2040, 7706 deaths can be averted in that year alone with the stronger set of policies. Without effective tobacco control policies, almost a million lives will be lost to tobacco-related diseases between 2011 and 2040. Of those, 145,000 can be saved with a comprehensive tobacco control package.

Conclusions: Smoking prevalence and smoking-attributable deaths in the Netherlands can be reduced substantially through tax increases, smoke-free legislation, high-intensity media campaigns, stronger advertising bans and health warnings, comprehensive cessation treatment and youth access laws. The implementation of these FCTC/MPOWER recommended policies could be expected to show similar or even larger relative reductions in smoking prevalence in other countries which currently have weak policies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Policy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Prevalence
  • Public Facilities / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking / mortality
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Social Control Policies / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Taxes / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Young Adult