Mortality Rates

In Switzerland, about 9500 people die each year from the consequences of tobacco consumption. That is 26 premature deaths every day. One fifth of these affect people before the age of 65. The most important single causes of death are lung cancer (27 percent), coronary artery disease (15 percent) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD (15 percent).

Cigarettes are the only legally available product where half of consumers die prematurely if they use the product according to the manufacturer's instructions.

For every 1,000 people who start smoking as adolescents and continue as adults, 250 die from tobacco-related diseases between the ages of 35 and 69 and 250 die after age 70. People who smoke lose an average of ten years of life compared to people who do not smoke.

A study by the University of Zurich found that men and women in Switzerland who smoke not only have an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and from cancer, but also an increased risk of many other diseases. 

Any type of tobacco use can cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses. "Light" or "mild" cigarettes are just as harmful as strong cigarettes. Thus, the use of tobacco products is fundamentally different from drinking alcohol or driving a car. In these cases, only excessive alcohol consumption or dangerous driving increases the risk of disease and death.


Bundesamt für Statistik BFS Aktuell, Tabakbedingte Todesfälle in der Schweiz, 1995 bis 2012, Neuchâtel 2015
Doll R., Peto R. et al., Mortality in relation to smoking: 50 years observations on male British doctors, BMJ 2004, 328, 1519-1528

How tobacco smoke causes disease. The biology and behavioral basis for smoking-attributable disease : a report of the Surgeon General ; executive summary (2010). Rockville, MD: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General. Online verfügbar unter

Judith Maag, MA, MSc, Julia Braun, PhD, Matthias Bopp, PhD, MPH, David Faeh, MD, MPH, Swiss National Cohort, Direct Estimation of Death Attributable to Smoking in Switzerland Based on Record Linkage of Routine and Observational Data, Nicotine & Tobacco Research, Volume 15, Issue 9, September 2013, Pages 1588–1597,

Status April 2021