More patients quitting smoking as prevalence falls to one in seven

Official data showing that smoking prevalence has fallen in recent years shows doctors' efforts to get patients to quit 'are working', the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has said.

Prevalence of smoking has fallen by almost a quarter since 2010, dropping from 19.9% to 15.5% of adults over 18 in 2016, official statistics show.

Prevalence fell most in younger age groups, dropping by seven percentage points in 18-24 year olds and five percentage points in 25-34 year olds. It fell the least in patients aged 65 or over, by three percentage points.

Smoking is now thought to cause 4% of all hospital admissions, with over a quarter (27%) of hospital admissions being for conditions that can be caused by smoking.

Smoking rate

In the latest UK statistics on deaths, from 2015, around 79,000 were considered to be due to smoking – some 16% of all deaths.

Over a third of deaths due to respiratory disease were estimated to be attributable to smoking, alongside half of deaths from cancers linked to smoking.

Presented in an NHS Digital report, the data show e-cigarette use rose over the last year to 2.4m users, around 5% of the adult population. Prevalence among 16-24 year olds particularly increased, from 2% in 2015 up to 6%.

RCP president Professor Jane Dacre said: ‘The RCP welcomes these latest data demonstrating a significant further fall in smoking prevalence among UK adults.

Quitting smoking

‘Over the past 10 years the RCP has championed the use of harm reduction approaches for smokers who are unwilling or otherwise unable to quit smoking.

‘These latest figures, the latest in a series of substantial falls in smoking prevalence over the past few years, tell us that this and other UK approaches to tobacco control are working.

‘We should continue to develop and exploit harm reduction for public health gain, and encourage as many smokers as possible to either quit altogether, or else switch to a low risk product.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

NICE recommends digital CBT for children with mild depression

NICE recommends digital CBT for children with mild depression

Children and young people with mild depression should have access to digital cognitive...

GPs taking early retirement triple in a decade as tax limits hit workforce

GPs taking early retirement triple in a decade as tax limits hit workforce

Numbers of GPs taking early retirement have tripled over the past decade as tighter...

BMA safety warning as pharmacists gain power to switch prescriptions

BMA safety warning as pharmacists gain power to switch prescriptions

Pharmacists are set to be granted emergency powers to alter patients' prescriptions...

GP funding could rise £60m through deals on QOF, networks and digital health

GP funding could rise £60m through deals on QOF, networks and digital health

GP leaders hope to trigger a 1% boost to practice funding from April - on top of...

GP trainees unfairly denied £20,000 golden hello payments, says BMA

GP trainees unfairly denied £20,000 golden hello payments, says BMA

Some GP trainees expecting £20,000 golden hellos for working in under-doctored areas...

The survival of GP partnerships depends on a credible workforce plan

The survival of GP partnerships depends on a credible workforce plan

The GP partnership review and the NHS long-term plan set out welcome proposals to...