• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of jepicomhInstructions for authorsCurrent TOCJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
J Epidemiol Community Health. May 2005; 59(5): 395–401.
PMCID: PMC1733079

Trends in smoking behaviour between 1985 and 2000 in nine European countries by education

Abstract

Objective: To examine whether trends in smoking behaviour in Western Europe between 1985 and 2000 differed by education group.

Design: Data of smoking behaviour and education level were obtained from national cross sectional surveys conducted between 1985 and 2000 (a period characterised by intense tobacco control policies) and analysed for countries combined and each country separately. Annual trends in smoking prevalence and the quantity of cigarettes consumed by smokers were summarised for each education level. Education inequalities in smoking were examined at four time points.

Setting: Data were obtained from nine European countries: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

Participants: 451 386 non-institutionalised men and women 25–79 years old.

Main outcome measures: Smoking status, daily quantity of cigarettes consumed by smokers.

Results: Combined country analyses showed greater declines in smoking and tobacco consumption among tertiary educated men and women compared with their less educated counterparts. In country specific analyses, elementary educated British men and women, and elementary educated Italian men showed greater declines in smoking than their more educated counterparts. Among Swedish, Finnish, Danish, German, Italian, and Spanish women, greater declines were seen among more educated groups.

Conclusions: Widening education inequalities in smoking related diseases may be seen in several European countries in the future. More insight into effective strategies specifically targeting the smoking behaviour of low educated groups may be gained from examining the tobacco control policies of the UK and Italy over this period.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (84K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Pierce JP. International comparisons of trends in cigarette smoking prevalence. Am J Public Health. 1989 Feb;79(2):152–157. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bartley M, Fitzpatrick R, Firth D, Marmot M. Social distribution of cardiovascular disease risk factors: change among men in England 1984-1993. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2000 Nov;54(11):806–814. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Cavelaars AE, Kunst AE, Geurts JJ, Crialesi R, Grötvedt L, Helmert U, Lahelma E, Lundberg O, Matheson J, Mielck A, et al. Educational differences in smoking: international comparison. BMJ. 2000 Apr 22;320(7242):1102–1107. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Iribarren C, Luepker RV, McGovern PG, Arnett DK, Blackburn H. Twelve-year trends in cardiovascular disease risk factors in the Minnesota Heart Survey. Are socioeconomic differences widening? Arch Intern Med. 1997 Apr 28;157(8):873–881. [PubMed]
  • Dalstra JAA, Kunst AE, Geurts JJM, Frenken FJM, Mackenbach JP. Trends in socioeconomic health inequalities in the Netherlands, 1981-1999. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2002 Dec;56(12):927–934. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Mackenbach JP, Kunst AE. Measuring the magnitude of socio-economic inequalities in health: an overview of available measures illustrated with two examples from Europe. Soc Sci Med. 1997 Mar;44(6):757–771. [PubMed]
  • Lahelma E, Rahkonen O, Berg MA, Helakorp S, Prättälä R, Puska P, Uutela A. Changes in health status and health behavior among Finnish adults 1978-1993. Scand J Work Environ Health. 1997;23 (Suppl 3):85–90. [PubMed]
  • Peltonen M, Huhtasaari F, Stegmayr B, Lundberg V, Asplund K. Secular trends in social patterning of cardiovascular risk factor levels in Sweden. The Northern Sweden MONICA Study 1986-1994. Multinational Monitoring of Trends and Determinants in Cardiovascular Disease. J Intern Med. 1998 Jul;244(1):1–9. [PubMed]
  • Osler M, Prescott E, Gottschau A, Bjerg A, Hein HO, Sjøl A, Schnohr P. Trends in smoking prevalence in Danish adults, 1964-1994. The influence of gender, age, and education. Scand J Soc Med. 1998 Dec;26(4):293–298. [PubMed]
  • Osler M, Kirchhoff M. Smoking behaviour in Danish adults from 1982 to 1992. Public Health. 1995 Jul;109(4):245–250. [PubMed]
  • Cesana GC, de Vito G, Ferrario M, Sega R, Mocarelli P. Trends of smoking habits in northern Italy (1986-1990). The WHO MONICA Project in Area Brianza, Italy. MONICA Area Brianza Research Group. Eur J Epidemiol. 1995 Jun;11(3):251–258. [PubMed]
  • Ferrario M, Sega R, Chatenoud L, Mancia G, Mocarelli P, Crespi C, Cesana G. Time trends of major coronary risk factors in a northern Italian population (1986-1994). How remarkable are socioeconomic differences in an industrialized low CHD incidence country? Int J Epidemiol. 2001 Apr;30(2):285–297. [PubMed]
  • Faggiano F, Versino E, Lemma P. Decennial trends of social differentials in smoking habits in Italy. Cancer Causes Control. 2001 Sep;12(7):665–671. [PubMed]
  • Maziak W, Hense HW, Döring A, Keil U. Ten-year trends in smoking behaviour among adults in southern Germany. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2002 Sep;6(9):824–830. [PubMed]
  • Graham H. Smoking prevalence among women in the European community 1950-1990. Soc Sci Med. 1996 Jul;43(2):243–254. [PubMed]
  • Schiaffino Anna, Fernandez Esteve, Borrell Carme, Salto Esteve, Garcia Montse, Borras Josep Maria. Gender and educational differences in smoking initiation rates in Spain from 1948 to 1992. Eur J Public Health. 2003 Mar;13(1):56–60. [PubMed]
  • Whitlock G, MacMahon S, Vander Hoorn S, Davis P, Jackson R, Norton R. Association of environmental tobacco smoke exposure with socioeconomic status in a population of 7725 New Zealanders. Tob Control. 1998 Autumn;7(3):276–280. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Rohrmann Sabine, Becker Nikolaus, Kroke Anja, Boeing Heiner. Trends in cigarette smoking in the German centers of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC): the influence of the educational level. Prev Med. 2003 Apr;36(4):448–454. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...