International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 160–164 | Cite as

The average age of smoking onset in Germany – trends and correlates

  • Sven SchneiderEmail author
  • Sigrid M. Mohnen
  • Svenja Pust
Brief Report



Germany is rated among the countries with the highest prevalence of tobacco use in Europe. This paper analyzes whether the age of smoking onset has decreased in recent years.


Multivariable event data analyses were performed on the basis of the representative national cross-sectional study “Drug Affinity among Young People in the Federal Republic of Germany 2004”. The survey involved a total net sample of 3032 individuals aged 12 to 25.


Socioeconomic groups starting to smoke at significantly earlier age include those from the economically deprived areas in eastern Germany, low educational achievers and subjects in households with adult smokers.


The average age of smoking onset has decreased further in the 1978–1992 birth cohorts.


Adolescence Average age of starting to smoke Cigarette smoking Cohort analysis Initiation Onset age 


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Copyright information

© Birkhaeuser 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sven Schneider
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sigrid M. Mohnen
    • 2
  • Svenja Pust
    • 3
  1. 1.Mannheim Institute of Public Health, Social and Preventive Medicine, Mannheim Medical FacultyHeidelberg UniversityMannheimGermany
  2. 2.Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology, Department of SociologyUniversity of UtrechtUtrechtNetherlands
  3. 3.German Cancer Research CenterUnit Cancer Prevention and WHO Collaborating Centre for Tobacco ControlHeidelbergGermany

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