Predicting the future prevalence of cigarette smoking in Australia: how low can we go and by when?

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In Australia, smoking prevalence has declined in men since the 1950s and in women since the 1980s. Future smoking prevalence in Australia is predicted from estimates of previous and current age-specific and sex-specific cessation rates and smoking uptake in young people derived from national survey data on the prevalence of smoking between 1980 and 2007.


A dynamic forecasting model was used to estimate future smoking prevalence in the Australian population based on a continuation of these current trends in smoking uptake and cessation.


The results suggest that Australia’s smoking prevalence will continue to fall while current rates of initiation and cessation are maintained. But a continuation of current smoking cessation and initiation patterns will see around 14% of adults still smoking in 2020.


Smoking cessation rates will need to double for Australian smoking prevalence to reach a policy target of 10% by 2020.

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