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Latest statistics on smoking released

NHS Digital has published new statistics on smoking in England.

NHS Digital has published new statistics on smoking in England.  

Statistics on smoking, England, 2020 includes the latest data on smoking related ill-health, smoking related deaths, prescription items to help people to stop smoking and the expenditure and affordability of tobacco. 

Smoking Related Ill-Health 

There were an estimated 506,100 hospital admissions attributed to smoking in 2019-20. This is similar to 2018-19 where there were 504,200 admissions and an increase of 10% from the 461,700 admissions in 2009-10.  

However, the proportion of all hospital admissions attributable to smoking decreased in this time period from 5% in 2009-10 to 4% in 2019-20. This is because the overall number of hospital admissions has increased.  

For males, admissions attributed to smoking in 2019/20 accounted for 5% of all hospital admissions and for 3% of all admissions for females1

Smoking related mortality 

There were an estimated 74,600 deaths attributable to smoking in 2019, a decrease of 3% from 2018 and a 9% decrease from 20091. For males, this accounted for 19% of all deaths, and 12% of all deaths for females2

Prescription items3 

The number of items4 dispensed as an aid to stop smoking in England was 710,000 in 2019-20, compared to 2.48 million 10 years ago and a peak of 2.56 million in 2010-11. 

NHS Bradford City CCG had the highest rate of items dispensed in 2019-20 at 45 per 1,000 population, up from 40 per 1,000 population in 2018-195. Whilst NHS Wyre Forest, NHS South Worcestershire, NHS Stafford and Surrounds, NHS Rotherham and NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove all recorded rates of less than one item per 1,000 population. 

Expenditure and affordability of tobacco 

Over the last ten years the price of tobacco has increased by 100%, based on the Tobacco Price Index. Due to a 48% increase in the cost of tobacco relative to the Retail Price Index and an 8% increase of disposable household income over the same period, tobacco is now 27% less affordable than it was in 2009. 

The proportion of total household expenditure on tobacco has also decreased over time, from 2.8% in 1985, to 1.4% in 2019.  


Read the full report  

Statistics on Smoking, England, 2020 

Notes for editors

  1. Notes to editors  

    1. Figures sourced from NHS Digital’s Hospital Episode Statistics. 

    1. Figures sourced from the ONS: Adult smoking habits, Annual Population Survey, 2019 

    1. Figures sourced from NHS Prescription Service’s Prescription Analysis and Cost (PACT) data. 

    1. Prescriptions are written on a prescription form known as a FP10. Each single item written on the form is counted as a prescription item.  

    1. Figures sourced from Statistics on Smoking, England, 2019 

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Last edited: 7 December 2020 4:13 pm