We studied the role of ‘ethnic density’ in the neighbourhood for tobacco-related cancer mortality among five migrant origin groups in urban Belgium. Using full population linked census data, multilevel Poisson models were applied to model effects of three linear and categorical indicators of same-origin presence for each origin group, and to test effect mediation by migrant generation and educational level. We first of all found that increased same migrant-origin presence in the neighbourhood had protective effects on tobacco-related cancer mortality for men in most groups. Second, only Turkish men had a mortality disadvantage when Turkish concentration was higher. Third, effects were not detected across all indicators of same-origin presence, nor among most groups of women. Finally, for several groups, neighbourhood effects were mediated by generational status and educational level.