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Prevalence of smoking falls among adults in England

* Regional data are available within this report

15 June 2017: The percentage of adults aged 18+ in England who smoke has fallen from 19.9 per cent in 2010 to 15.5 per cent in 20161.

According to a report published today by NHS Digital2, the Office for National Statistics and Public Health England, smoking prevalence fell for all age groups between 2010 and 2016. The largest fall was amongst 18 to 24 year olds - from 26 per cent in 2010 to 19 per cent in 2016.

Statistics on Smoking, England 2017 draws together a range of information from different sources on smoking by adults and children, including behaviours and attitudes, smoking-related costs and the effect on health in terms of hospital admissions and deaths from smoking-related illnesses.

Estimates show that the number of hospital admissions that were attributable to smoking has increased from 458,000 in 2005/06 to 474,000 in 2015/16, but as a proportion of all hospital admissions it has fallen from 6 per cent in 2005/06 to 4 per cent in 2015/163.

The report includes newly published information on:

  • Adult smoking habits published today by the Office for National Statistics in partnership with Public Health England fromAdult smoking habits in the UK: 2016
  • National level deaths and admissions data attributable to smoking
  • Women smoking at the time of delivery

The report also includes regional data on hospital admissions for 2015/16, and mortality rates for 2013-2015, estimated to be attributable to smoking for Local Authority areas:

  • Barnsley, Sunderland, Blackpool and Hartlepool had the highest estimated hospital admission rates for smoking-related conditions, with each having a rate of more than 3,000 per 100,000 of population
  • Wokingham and the Isle of Wight had the lowest rates of estimated hospital admission rates with each having a rate of below 1,000 per 100,000
  • Manchester had the highest estimated rate of smoking-related mortality with 509 per 100,000 of population
  • Harrow, Rutland and Wokingham had the lowest rates, all below 200 per 100,000

Also included in the report:


  • There were estimated to be around 79,000 deaths attributable to smoking in 2015. This represented 16 per cent of all deaths that year


  • There were an estimated 2.4 million e-cigarette users, representing around 5 per cent of adults in 2016
  • Prevalence amongst 16 to 24 year olds increased from 2 per cent in 2015 to 6 per cent in 2016


  • Tobacco was 27 per cent less affordable in 2016 than it was in 2006
  • Tobacco expenditure as a proportion of total household expenditure has fallen to 1.6 per cent in 2016, from 2.9 per cent in 1985

Smoking at the Time of Delivery

  • Just under 11 per cent of women giving birth were recorded as smokers at the time of delivery in 2016/17, down from 15 per cent in 2006/07

Read the full report at:

Also published today:

Read Adult smoking habits in the UK 2016 at: 

Read Statistics on Women's Smoking Status at Time of Delivery: England at: 

Read Tobacco Profiles:


Notes to editors

1. The source of data for smoking prevalence from 2010 is the Annual Population Survey (APS) carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This is an annual survey covering adults aged 18 and over living in private households in the UK.

2. The data in this report comes from a variety of sources and is the latest available. Some of the data refers to a calendar year while others refer to a financial year. NHS Digital is the national information and technology provider for the health and care system. Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend. During the 2015/16 financial year, NHS Digital published 294 statistical reports. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better. NHS Digital is the new trading name for the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). We provide 'Information and Technology for better health and care'. Find out more about our role and remit

3. Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) contains details of all admissions to NHS hospitals in England. It includes private patients treated in NHS hospitals, patients who were resident outside of England and care delivered by treatment centres (including those in the independent sector) funded by the NHS. The HES data presented in this report are for inpatients only, so do not reflect all hospital activity. This should be considered when interpreting the data as practice may vary over time and between regions. In particular, practices vary between hospitals as to whether some procedures are carried out or recorded in outpatient or inpatient settings and any changes in recording and clinical practice can affect the trends in this report.

Estimates of smoking-attributable NHS hospital admissions for ages 35 and over are based on:

  • Estimates of smoking prevalence for both smokers and ex-smokers
  • Relative risks for deaths and developing non-fatal diseases for both smokers and ex-smokers for those diseases known to be associated with smoking
  • Observed numbers of deaths or hospital admissions caused by those diseases which can be caused by smoking.

4. Figures under 1 million have been rounded to the nearest 1,000; figures over 1 million have been rounded to the nearest 100,000. Percentages have been rounded to the nearest decimal percentage point; percentage calculations are based on un-rounded figures.

5. For media enquiries please contact [email protected] or telephone 0300 30 33 888.

Last edited: 11 April 2018 6:38 pm