smoking cessationAn estimated 475,000 hospital admissions were attributed to smoking in 2014-15 – a rise of 23,000 (5%) in the past 10 years, according to new figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

However, the figures also show that the number of deaths among adults aged 35 and over and estimated to be attributable to smoking has declined. In 2014, there were 78,000 smoking-related deaths compared to 89,000 in 2004. In 2014, this comprised 47,000 deaths of men (21% of all deaths) and 31,000 women (13%).

Conditions that could be caused by smoking resulted in 1.7 million admissions to hospital for adults aged 35 and over in 2014-15 – an average of 4,700 admissions per day. These figures refer to admissions with a primary diagnosis of a disease that can be caused by smoking, but for which smoking may or may not have actually been the cause. Since 2004-05, this figure has risen by 311,000 (22%). This differs from the estimated smoking-attributable admissions because those headline figures are the result of more detailed analysis.

Statistics on Smoking, England 2016 presents a range of information on smoking among adults and children, including prevalence, behaviours and attitudes, smoking-related costs and the effect on health in terms of hospital admissions and deaths from smoking-related illnesses. 

The report also includes regional data on hospital admissions and mortality rates estimated to be attributable to smoking for local authority areas. In 2014-15, Blackpool had the highest estimated hospital admission rate for smoking-related conditions, with 2,830 per 100,000 of population and City of London had the lowest rate with 880. Manchester had the highest estimated rate of smoking-related mortality with 458 per 100,000 of population and Harrow had the lowest rate with 185.

The report also shows:

  • Cancer was the condition resulting in the highest number of admissions estimated to be attributable to smoking in 2014-15 with 159,000. Of these, 69% (109,000) were male
  • In 2014, 19% of adults in Great Britain described themselves as smokers, down from a peak of 46% in 1974
  • The average consumption among smokers was 11 cigarettes a day – the lowest daily cigarette consumption since the statistics were first published in 1974, when it was 16
  • In 2015, there were an estimated 2.2 million current e-cigarette users. This represents 4% of adults aged 16 and over in Great Britain, although usage varied by age and gender
  • More secondary school pupils reported having tried e-cigarettes (22%) than traditional cigarettes (18%) in 2014. This is the lowest level of cigarette smoking prevalence since the survey began in 1982
  • In 2015, tobacco was 27% less affordable than it was in 2005. Tobacco expenditure as a proportion of total household expenditure had fallen to 1.7% in 2015 from 3.3% in 1985
  • The number of prescription items dispensed in England to help people stop smoking dropped to 1.3 million in 2014-15, compared to 2 million 10 years ago. The net ingredient cost was £38 million, down from a peak of £66 million in 2010-11.

Paul Niblett, the statistician responsible for the report, said: “Statistics on Smoking collates information from a wide range of sources so we can present a complete picture of smoking prevalence and its effect on health. By looking at survey, hospital and deaths data, it is possible to see how behaviours, attitudes and the consequences of smoking have changed over the past 10 years. 

“The data are also analysed further to look at specific demographic groups and behaviours, such as young people, local authority areas and usage of e-cigarettes to inform public health initiatives.”

The full report is available at: