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Statistics on Smoking, England - 2015

Publication date: 09:30 May 29, 2015


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This statistical report presents a range of information on smoking which is drawn together from a variety of sources. The report aims to present a broad picture of health issues relating to smoking in England and covers topics such as smoking prevalence, habits, behaviours and attitudes among adults and school children, smoking-related ill health and mortality and smoking-related costs.

This report contains data and information previously published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), Department of Health, the Office for National Statistics and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. The report also includes new analyses carried out by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Key Facts

Smoking among adults and children

  • Nearly one in five adults in Great Britain (19 per cent) aged 16 and over were smokers in 2013, a rate that although slightly less than 2012, has remained largely unchanged in recent years, compared to just over one in four (26 per cent) a decade earlier in 2003.
  • Amongst 11 to 15 year olds in England in 2013, less than a quarter of pupils reported that they had tried smoking at least once. At 22 per cent, this is the lowest level recorded since the data were first collected in 1982, and continues the decline since 2003, when 42 per cent of pupils had tried smoking.

Availability and affordability of tobacco

  • The price of tobacco has increased by 87 per cent over the last ten years from 2004 to 2014, making it 30 per cent less affordable. 

Prescribing costs

  • The number of prescriptions dispensed in England to help people stop smoking in 2013/14 was 1.8 million, compared to 1.6 million ten years earlier in 2003/4.
  • In 2013/14 the Net Ingredient Cost1 (NIC) of all prescription items used to help people quit smoking was nearly £48.8 million.  This is a decrease of 16 per cent on the £58.1 million spent in 2012/13 and 26 per cent less than 2010/11 when NIC of all prescription items peaked at £65.9 million.

Hospital admissions in England in 2013/14 among adults aged 35 and over

  • In 2013/14 there were over 1.6 million admissions for adults aged 35 and over with a primary diagnosis of a disease that can be caused by smoking. This is approximately 4,500 admissions per day on average. This compares to 1.4 million admissions ten years earlier in 2003/04 with approximately 3,800 admissions per day on average.
  • Around 454,700 hospital admissions were estimated to be attributable to smoking. This accounts for 4 per cent of all hospital admissions in this age group (35 years and over). This compares to 447,300 admissions in 2003/04 which was 6 per cent of all admissions.
  • The proportion of admissions attributable to smoking as a percentage of all admissions was greater amongst men (6 per cent) than women (3 per cent).

Deaths in England in 2013 among adults aged 35 and over

  • In 2013, 17 per cent (78,200) of all deaths of adults aged 35 and over were estimated to be caused by smoking compared to 19 per cent (95,300) in 2003.

1The Net Ingredient Cost NIC is the basic cost of a drug as listed in the Drug Tariff or price lists; it does not include discounts, prescription charges or fees.


Date Range: 01 April 2014 to 31 March 2015
Geographical coverage: England, Great Britain
Geographical granularity: Country

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