Introduction: Although Germany has recently implemented some tobacco control policies, there is considerable scope to strengthen policies consistent with the MPOWER guidelines. This article describes the development of a simulation model projecting the effect of future tobacco control policies in Germany on smoking prevalence and associated premature mortality.
Methods: Germany SimSmoke-an adapted version of the SimSmoke simulation model of tobacco control policy-uses population, smoking rates, and policy data for Germany. It assesses, individually and in combination, the effect of seven types of policies: taxes, smoke-free air laws, mass media campaigns, advertising bans, warning labels, cessation treatment, and youth access policies.
Results: With a comprehensive set of policies, smoking prevalence within the first few years can be reduced by about 22.0% relative to the status quo and by 37.9% (40.5%) for males (females) in 30 years. By 2040, 39,548 deaths could be averted in that year alone. Without stronger policies, 700,000 additional smoking-attributable deaths (SADs) would occur in Germany over the next 30 years.
Conclusions: The model indicates that the consequences of inaction are considerable; without the implementation of a stronger set of policies, smoking prevalence rates will remain relatively stable, and SADs among women will continue to rise over a 30-year horizon. Significant inroads into reducing smoking prevalence and premature mortality can be achieved through strengthening tobacco control policies in line with MPOWER recommendations.