Sustainable development in Germany - 17 Goals to Transform our World

Health and nutrition – Living healthy longer

Indicator 3.1.c, d: Smoking rate among young people and adults

SDG-3.a.1

c) Adolescents Weathersymbol

(Evaluation of the development of Germany in the reporting year 2019 as reporting year from indicator report 2021)

d) Adults Weathersymbol

(Evaluation of the development of Germany in the reporting year 2017 as reporting year from indicator report 2021)

Selection

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This overview includes additional information on the indicators presented above, such as a brief definition of the indicator and a description of the politically determined target value, as well as the political intention for selecting the indicator.

Definition of indicators (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

The smoking rate among adolescents (3.1.c) represents the percentage of 12- to 17-year-olds who indicate that they smoke regularly or occasionally. The smoking rate among adults (3.1.d) indicates the percentage of those surveyed aged 15 and above who answered the questions on smoking behaviour in the microcensus and who smoke regularly or occasionally.

Target and intention of the German Government (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

Smoking poses a risk of serious damage to health and can cause premature death. This risk is not confined to smokers themselves. Non-smokers exposed to tobacco smoke are not just irritated by the smoke but can also fall ill from it. The Federal Government is pursuing the goal of reducing the percentage of adolescent smokers to 7% and that of all persons aged 15 years and older to 19% by 2030.

Data state

The data published in the indicator report 2021 is as of 31.12.2020. The data shown on the DNS-Online-Platform is updated regularly, so that more current data may be available online than published in the indicator report 2021.

Last modification of code (data) 2021-03-10: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window
Last modification of code (text) 2021-09-10: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window

Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy

The data for adolescents are collected in surveys on substance consumption among adolescents and young adults which are conducted by means of telephone interviews by the Federal Centre for Health Education. The surveys initially took place at intervals of three to four years, but since 2001 they have been conducted almost every year. In order to ensure that the data are comparable over time, they are weighted on the basis of gender, region and age. The data for years without surveys have been interpolated for inclusion in the time series. The random sample used in 2019 comprised 7,000 adolescents and young adults.

The data for adults is surveyed every four years as part of the microcensus conducted by the Federal Statistical Office. The data for years without surveys have been interpolated for inclusion in the time series for the indicator. The microcensus, which is a sample survey, covers 1% of the whole population and is the largest household survey in Germany and Europe. The responses to the questions regarding smoking habits are voluntary and were provided by 79% of respondents in 2017.

In the group of adolescents between 12 and 17 years of age, the proportion of smokers initially increased from 23.9% (1995) to 28.1% (1997 and 2001), but then declined steadily to 5.6% (5.2% for adolescent girls, 6.0% of adolescent boys) by 2019. Provided that the trend of recent years is maintained, the target value set for 2030 is already achieved.

In 2017, a total of 22.4% of the sample population above the age of 15 indicated that they smoked occasionally or regularly. This compares with a figure of 28.3 % for 1995 and 1999. The smoking rate for adults, in other words, has shown only a slight decrease. If the average trend over the last five years is maintained, the target for this sub-indicator can also be achieved.

In 2017, 18.8% of all adult respondents aged 15 years or older considered themselves regular smokers, while 3.7% smoked occasionally. The rate among women (18.6%) was significantly lower than for men (26.4%). While the proportion of women smokers has fallen by 2.9 percentage points since 1995, the proportion of men who smoke has dropped by 9.2 percentage points.

In 2017, 96.2% of the respondent smokers preferred cigarettes. The frequency of tobacco consumption is important when considering the threat to the health of individuals. A total of 10.8% of regular smokers, compared with 17.4% in 1995, fell into the category of heavy smokers with more than 20 cigarettes a day, while 81.4% smoked 5 to 20 a day. Within these figures there were also differences between the sexes. Almost one in seven of the male regular cigarette smokers was a heavy smoker, but only one in thirteen of the female smokers.

Smoking poses a high but avoidable risk to health. In 2018, 4.8% of all deaths (3.4% among women, 6.3% among men) could be attributed to symptomatic diseases for smokers (lung, bronchial, laryngeal and tracheal cancers). In 2018, the average age of those who died of lung, bronchial, and tracheal cancers was 71.1 years, which is more than seven years below the average age at death (78.4 years). Lower smoking rates would therefore help reduce premature mortality.

This summary table illustrates the evaluations of the indicator by status of previous years. This shows whether the weather symbol for an indicator has been stable or rather volatile in the past years. (Evaluations from the indicator report 2021)

Time series 1

Indicator

3.1.c Smoking rate among adolescents

Target

Reduction to 7% by 2030

Year

2015

2016

2018

2019

Evaluation Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich

Time series 2

Indicator

3.1.d Smoking rate among adults

Target

Reduction to 19% by 2030

Year

2017

Evaluation Keine Bewertung möglich

Source 1

 Federal Centre for Health Education

Organisation

Federal Centre for Health Education

Data source Addiction Prevention (only available in German) opens in a new window

Source 2

 Federal Statistical Office

Organisation

Federal Statistical Office