Policies to halve smoking deaths

Addiction. 1993 Jan;88(1):37-46. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.1993.tb02762.x.


Britain still has amongst the highest mortality rates in the world for all the major smoking diseases. A third of all adults smoke cigarettes regularly and smoking causes one third of UK deaths in middle age. This paper discusses factors related to changes in smoking levels and concludes that without the intervention of government policies, smoking prevalence and the amount smoked per smoker is likely to rise, particularly for young people. Measures to reduce smoking are surveyed and estimates made of the maximum likely effects from health education, advertising control, general practitioner smoking cessation advice and public and work place policies. A pricing policy is suggested which, with the other policies could reduce cigarette consumption by a half so that only one in five adults smoke by the year 2000. Predictions are made of the effect of this policy package on lives and life years saved. Within twenty five years there would be 50,000 fewer deaths from smoking and half a million life years saved annually. This would rise to two thirds of a million within forty years. Deaths from lung cancer would fall by 38%. The quality of these life years saved would tend to the average for their age.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Health Education / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Policy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Health Promotion / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking / mortality*
  • Survival Rate
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology