Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the UK and the leading factor for disability-adjusted life years. Every year around 100,000 people in the UK die from smoking, with many more living with debilitating smoking-related illnesses. Smoking increases the risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions including cancer, heart disease, other vascular diseases and COPD. In addition, one in ten pregnant women still smoke nationally with the associated risks of miscarriage, premature birth, still birth, low birth weight and neonatal complications.
In 2015, it was estimated the total smoking related cost to the NHS was £2.6 billion. A report by Public Health England (PHE) to support the development of the new Tobacco Control Plan for England, attributed a cost of £794 million in GP visits, £112 million in practice nurse visits, £154 million in prescriptions, £697 million in hospital outpatient visits and £852 million in smoking related hospital admissions. In addition, there is an estimated cost burden of £5.3 billion to employers in work absences and smoking breaks. Wider costs are seen in unemployment and economic inactivity due to smoking-attributable ill health, as well as the subsequent increased costs for the adult social care system.
Smoking is a modifiable lifestyle risk factor; effective tobacco control measures can reduce the prevalence of smoking in the population. The Government’s Tobacco Control Plan (Towards a Smoke-free Generation: A Tobacco Control Plan for England) published in July 2017, sets out the Government’s strategy to reduce smoking prevalence among adults, young people and pregnant women. In addition, the plan seeks to give parity of esteem for those with mental health conditions and advocate evidence based innovations to support quitting. The plan also details smoking related inequalities, where smoking accounts for approximately half of the difference in life expectancy between the poorest and the richest nationally. In 2015, there were almost three times as many smokers among the lowest earners in our society in comparison to the highest earners. In 2016, the prevalence of smoking among people working in jobs classed as routine and manual was more than double that of people working in managerial and professional occupations.
The briefing, dataset and slideset below provides an overview of smoking in Southampton. They include intelligence on the changing trends in smoking prevalence and related morbidity and mortality in the city, focusing on ‘at risk’ groups and inequalities between wards, Better Care Clusters and IMD deprivation quintiles. Ultimately, this forms part of the Single Needs Assessment for the city (JSNA) and therefore should inform future action to further reduce smoking prevalence and protect the vulnerable from the harm it causes.
Smoking Intelligence Briefing – October 2018 (pdf 3.88mb)
Smoking data compendium – October 2018 (xlsx 1.13mb)
Smoking summary slideset – October 2018 (pdf 3.15mb)
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