The effect of tobacco control policies on smoking prevalence and smoking-attributable deaths. Findings from the Netherlands SimSmoke Tobacco Control Policy Simulation Model

Gera E. Nagelhout*, David T. Levy, Kenneth Blackman, Laura Currie, Luke Clancy, Marc C. Willemsen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Aim To develop a simulation model projecting the effect of tobacco control policies in the Netherlands on smoking prevalence and smoking-attributable deaths. Design, setting and participants Netherlands SimSmoke-an adapted version of the SimSmoke simulation model of tobacco control policy-uses population, smoking rates and tobacco control policy data for the Netherlands to predict the effect of seven types of policies: taxes, smoke-free legislation, mass media, advertising bans, health warnings, cessation treatment and youth access policies. Measurements Outcome measures were smoking prevalence and smoking-attributable deaths. Findings With a comprehensive set of policies, as recommended by MPOWER, smoking prevalence can be decreased by asmuch as 21% in the first year, increasing to a 35% reduction in the next 20 years and almost 40% by 30 years. By 2040, 7706 deaths can be averted in that year alone with the stronger set of policies. Without effective tobacco control policies, almost a million lives will be lost to tobacco-related diseases between 2011 and 2040. Of those, 145 000 can be saved with a comprehensive tobacco control package. Conclusions Smoking prevalence and smoking-attributable deaths in the Netherlands can be reduced substantially through tax increases, smoke-free legislation, high-intensity media campaigns, stronger advertising bans and health warnings, comprehensive cessation treatment and youth access laws. The implementation of these FCTC/ MPOWER recommended policies could be expected to show similar or even larger relative reductions in smoking prevalence in other countries which currently have weak policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-416
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


  • Prevalence rates
  • public policy
  • simulation model
  • smoking-attributable deaths
  • the Netherlands
  • tobacco control policy

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