Thursday, March 24, 2011


Tobacco use remains one of our most significant public health challenges. While rates of smoking have continued to decline over the past decades, 21 per cent of adults in England still smoke. Smoking prevalence has fallen little since 2007 and we need to take new action to drive prevalence down further.

While in the past more men than women smoked, today the prevalence of smoking is about the same for men and women.ii Smoking rates vary considerably between different social groups and it is most common among people who earn the least, and least common among people who earn the most. In recent times, smoking has become one of the most significant causes of health inequalities.

Smoking is the primary cause of preventable morbidity and premature death, accounting for 81,400 deaths in England in 2009, some 18 per cent of all deaths of adults aged 35 and over.ii In 2009, a larger proportion of men than women died from smoking-related diseases, reflecting the higher rates of smoking by men in the past.