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Eighteen per cent of all adult deaths caused by smoking, finds report

Smoking causes 18% of all adult deaths in England, according to statistics published by the NHS Information Centre.

Professor Lindsey Davies, Faculty of Public Health President, commented on the findings: “It’s vital that vulnerable groups such as pregnant women get the help they need to stop smoking. Helping people quit is an investment in the future health of the nation, ultimately saving the NHS millions of pounds from reduced hospital admissions caused by smoking-related diseases.

“Another cause for concern is the number of children trying and taking up smoking. The Government should take action to protect our children from becoming addicted to cigarettes, and follow other European countries in banning vending machines and tobacco displays in shops.

“I'm glad to see that the number of quitters is going up. NHS Stop Smoking Services are doing a great job, but much more still needs to be done."

The report found:

  • 21% of adults were smokers in 2008, the same as in 2007, but lower than 39% in 1980
  • £16.3 billion was estimated to be spent on tobacco in the UK in 2009
  • Around 81,400 deaths (18% of all deaths of adults aged 35 and over) were estimated to be caused by smoking in England in 2009
  • There were approximately 1.5 million hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of a disease that can be caused by smoking in England in 2008/09. The annual number of admissions has been rising steadily since 1996/97, when the number of such admissions was 1.1 million
  • In 2009/10, 757,537 people in England set a quit date through NHS Stop Smoking Services. At the four-week follow-up, 373,954 (49%) had successfully stopped smoking
  • Of the 20,808 pregnant women who set a quit date, 45% (9,414) successfully quit at the four-week follow-up
  • Four in five people (81%) agree with the smoking ban in public places

 The full report is available at

Written: 26/08/2010 , last modified: 02/02/2011