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New report publishes figures about smoking among 15 year olds

04 August, 2015: A new report providing figures on the proportion of 15 year olds who smoke has been published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

*Regional information is available within this report

Health and Wellbeing of 15 year olds in England publishes findings from the first What About YOUth? survey, which took place in 2014.2

The survey provides information about the percentage of 15 year olds who are regular or occasional smokers,3 as well as those who have tried smoking, used to smoke or have never smoked.

Today's report also publishes robust figures on the smoking habits of young people at local authority level for the first time, to enable readers to identify differences between local areas.4

Additional information about use of e-cigarettes, other tobacco products,5 and attitudes to smoking is included within the report.

The HSCIC expects to publish further information concerning the health and wellbeing of 15 year olds from the What About YOUth? 2014 survey in December.

The full report can be viewed at:


Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 260 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.
  2. What About YOUth? aims to make improvements to the health and wellbeing of young people across England. As part of the study, 15 year olds were invited to answer questions at home or online about subjects including their health, diet, exercise, bullying, alcohol, drugs and smoking. More information can be found at: Data on smoking prevalence rates amongst children is also available within other HSCIC publications, including Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People - England and Health Survey for England. Information about these publications can be found at:
  3. The questions about smoking in the What About YOUth? 2014 survey will be used to monitor the performance of a Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) indicator. More information about the PHOF can be found here:
  4. More information on the methodology can be found in the report's Appendix, including explanations of how and why this survey might show different levels of smoking to other sources of data on smoking behaviour amongst children.
  5. Other tobacco products include shisha pipes, hookah, hubble-bubble and waterpipes.
  6. For media enquires or interview requests please contact or telephone 0300 30 33 888. Please note the change to our media line number.
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