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Hospital admissions estimated to be attributable to smoking go up by 5 per cent in ten years

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures

*Regional data are available within this report

The number of hospital admissions2 estimated to be attributable to smoking3 was 475,0004 in 2014-15 - a rise of 23,000 (5 per cent) in the last ten years.

However, the latest figures published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre1 also show that the number of deaths among adults aged 35 and over which were estimated to be attributable to smoking4 has declined - there were 78,000 deaths in 2014 compared to 89,000 in 2004. In 2014, this comprised 47,000 deaths of men (21 per cent of all deaths) and 31,000 women (13 per cent).

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 per cent). This differs from the estimated smoking-attributable admissions because those headline figures are the result of more detailed analysis.

Statistics on Smoking, England 20165 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. 69 per cent of these (109,000) were male patients3.
  • In 2014, 19 per cent of adults in Great Britain described themselves as smokers, down from a peak of 46 per cent in 19746.
  • The average consumption among smokers was 11 cigarettes a day - the lowest daily cigarette consumption since the statistics were first published6 in 1974, when it was 16.
  • In 2015, there were an estimated 2.2 million current e-cigarette users. This represents 4 per cent of adults, aged 16 and over, in Great Britain although usage varied by age and gender10.
  • More secondary school pupils reported having tried e-cigarettes (22 per cent) than traditional cigarettes (18 per cent) in 2014. This is the lowest level of cigarette smoking prevalence since the survey began in 19827.
  • In 2015, tobacco was 27 per cent less affordable than it was in 2005. Tobacco expenditure as a proportion of total household expenditure had fallen to 1.7 per cent in 2015 from 3.3 per cent in 19858.
  • The number of prescription items dispensed in England to help people stop smoking dropped to 1.3 million in 2014-15, compared to 2.0 million ten years ago. The net ingredient cost was £38 million, down from a peak of £66 million in 2010-119.

Responsible Statistician, Paul Niblett, 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 ten 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:


Notes to editors

1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on 1 April 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. Hospital admissions are recorded in Hospital Episode Statistics (HES). HES is a data warehouse containing 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.

3. 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 point; percentage calculations are based on un-rounded figures.

5. This report contains data and information previously published by the HSCIC, Department of Health, the Office of National Statistics and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. Appendix A provides further information on the key sources used. The report also included new analyses carried out by the HSCIC.

6. Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, Smoking Habits Amongst Adults, 2014, Office for National Statistics, 2014.

7. Source: Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People in England - 2014, HSCIC

8. Source: Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Statistical Bulletins, 1996-2015, Office for National Statistics 2015. Figures quoted include all households whether they include smokers or not.

9. Prescription data were obtained from the Prescribing Analysis and Cost tool (PACT) system, which covers prescriptions prescribed by GPs, nurses, pharmacists and others in England and dispensed in the community in the UK. More information is available at

10. Source: Adult Smoking Habits in Great Britain, 2014 with 2015 provisional data

11. For media enquires or interview requests please contact or telephone 0300 30 33 888.

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