Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Cancers are leading causes of mortality and morbidity, with smoking being recognized as a significant risk factor for many types of cancer. We aimed to report the cancer burden attributable to tobacco smoking by sex, age, socio-demographic index (SDI), and cancer type in 204 countries and territories from 1990 to 2019. METHODS: The burden of cancers attributable to smoking was reported between 1990 and 2019, based upon the Comparative Risk Assessment approach used in the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study 2019. RESULTS: Globally, in 2019 there were an estimated 2.5 million cancer-related deaths (95% UI: 2.3 to 2.7) and 56.4 million DALYs (51.3 to 61.7) attributable to smoking. The global age-standardized death and DALY rates of cancers attributable to smoking per 100,000 decreased by 23.0% (-29.5 to -15.8) and 28.6% (-35.1 to -21.5), respectively, over the period 1990-2019. Central Europe (50.4 [44.4 to 57.6]) and Western Sub-Saharan Africa (6.7 [5.7 to 8.0]) had the highest and lowest age-standardized death rates, respectively, for cancers attributable to smoking. In 2019, the age-standardized DALY rate of cancers attributable to smoking was highest in Greenland (2224.0 [1804.5 to 2678.8]) and lowest in Ethiopia (72.2 [51.2 to 98.0]). Also in 2019, the global number of DALYs was highest in the 65-69 age group and there was a positive association between SDI and the age-standardized DALY rate. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study clearly illustrate that renewed efforts are required to increase utilization of evidence-based smoking cessation support in order to reduce the burden of smoking-related diseases.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer med

Publication Date



cancer, death, disability-adjusted life year, global burden of disease, smoking