Projections of smoking-related cancer mortality in Australia to 2044

Qingwei Luo*, Julia Steinberg, Xue Qin Yu, Marianne Weber, Michael Caruana, Sarsha Yap, Paul B. Grogan, Emily Banks, Dianne L. O'connell, Karen Canfell

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Background While many high-income countries including Australia have successfully implemented a range of tobacco control policies, smoking remains the leading preventable cause of cancer death in Australia. We have projected Australian mortality rates for cancer types, which have been shown to have an established relationship with cigarette smoking and estimated numbers of cancer deaths attributable to smoking to 2044. Methods Cancer types were grouped according to the proportion of cases currently caused by smoking: 8%-30% and >30%. For each group, an age-period- cohort model or generalised linear model with cigarette smoking exposure as a covariate was selected based on the model fit statistics and validation using observed data. The smoking-attributable fraction (SAF) was calculated for each smoking-related cancer using Australian smoking prevalence data and published relative risks. Results Despite the decreasing mortality rates projected for the period 2015-2019 to 2040-2044 for both men and women, the overall number of smoking-related cancer deaths is estimated to increase by 28.7% for men and 35.8% for women: from 138 707 (77 839 men and 60 868 women) in 2015-2019 to 182 819 (100 153 men and 82 666 women) in 2040-2044. Over the period 2020-2044, there will be 254 583 cancer deaths (173 943 men and 80 640 women) directly attributable to smoking, with lung, larynx, oesophagus and oral (comprising lip, oral cavity and pharynx) cancers having the largest SAFs. Interpretation Cigarette smoking will cause over 250 000 cancer deaths in Australia from 2020 to 2044. Continued efforts in tobacco control remain a public health priority, even in countries where smoking prevalence has substantially declined.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)792-799
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


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