Smoking statistics

The big picture

  • In England over 8 million people smoke
  • Over 80,000 people died from smoking-attributable diseases in 2007
  • 5.4 million people die of tobacco-related illness worldwide each year
  • At least 320 deaths every day are from smoking in the UK
  • People who are poor are more likely to smoke
  • Two-thirds of smokers start before they are 18 years old
  • It costs the NHS between £2.3bn and £2.7bn a year to treat diseases caused by smoking
  • An estimated 8 million GP consultations a year can be attributed to smoking

The local picture

  • Smoking prevalence in Cambridgeshire is below 20%; however there are notable pockets of deprivation where the number of people smoking is much higher, particularly in the north of the county, with up to 25% prevalence
  • 62% of people who smoke say they would like to quit
  • In Cambridgeshire this means approximately 56,500 smokers would like to stop.

What can you do?

  • Offering brief advice to stop smoking is the single most cost-effective and clinically proven action a healthcare professional can take
  • Smokers may take several attempts to quit smoking successfully, so it is important to keep giving advice at every opportunity
  • Smokers are up to four times more likely to quit smoking successfully with support from the NHS Stop Smoking Services, compared to going it alone
  • Refer a patient, friend or colleague to CAMQUIT
  • Become a stop smoking advisor – it's free!


Sources: A Smokefree Future (DH) 2010; WHO; Beyond Smoking Kills (DH) 2008; West et al 2000.

Design: Postscript