To evaluate the impact of tobacco control interventions on smoking-related mortality it is essential to develop smoking histories over the life course of different birth cohorts. Analyses that extend the detail beyond prevalence in order to also include initiation, cessation and intensity has received limited attention. US National Health Interview Surveys conducted from 1965-2009 provided cross-sectional information on current smoking behavior. Some of these surveys also provided additional detail on age at initiation and cessation, and smoking intensity. Age-period-cohort models with constrained natural splines were adjusted for survival differences by smoking status to obtain estimates of the prevalence of current, former and never smokers for ages 35-99 in cohorts beginning in 1890. This approach also yielded yearly estimates of initiation, cessation and smoking intensity for each birth cohort which were projected forward through 2050 based on recent trends. These summaries show clear trends by gender, cohort and age over time. If current patterns persist, a slow decline in smoking prevalence is projected from 2010 through 2040. This new method of generating smoking histories has been included in the National Cancer Institute's Smoking History Generator which can be used in micro-simulation models to assess the impact of alternative tobacco control strategies.

Citation Format: Theodore R. Holford. Modeling past and future smoking patterns in the U.S. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Twelfth Annual AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research; 2013 Oct 27-30; National Harbor, MD. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Can Prev Res 2013;6(11 Suppl): Abstract nr CN03-02.