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Smoking is the most important cause of preventable ill health and premature mortality in the UK. Smoking is a major risk factor for many diseases, such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart disease. It is also associated with cancers in other organs, including lip, mouth, throat, bladder, kidney, stomach, liver and cervix.

"Smoking is the UK's single greatest cause of preventable disease and early death.  Death rates are tripled for smokers aged 45-64, and doubled for those aged 65-84.  Half of all regular smokers will die from smoking related disease.  Differences in smoking prevalence between social classes accounts for much of the inequality in health outcome between social classes."

Chief Medical Officer's Annual Report 2003

For detailed information on Smoking in Herefordshire, download the Smoking in Herefordshire Overview from the resource box below.

Key facts about smoking in Herefordshire

Smoking Behaviour

  • Smoking prevalence in Herefordshire has shown a decline in recent years and in 2016 the local figure was 14 per cent compared to 20 per cent in 2010; in 2015/16 there were an estimated 27,000 smokers aged 15 and above across Herefordshire.
  • Among the Herefordshire population males are a third more likely to smoke than females.
  • Relatively low levels of smoking prevalence occur in rural and semirural areas with higher levels recorded in Hereford and market towns.
  • Prevalence of smoking in adults in routine and manual occupations in Herefordshire is significantly higher than that recorded for the adult population as a whole.
  • In line with the national pattern the prevalence of smoking in pregnancy in Herefordshire has fallen almost by a half since 2006/07 and since 2014/15 has been below the “national ambition” of 11 per cent.
  • In 2014/15 almost six per cent of 15 year olds in Herefordshire reported that they smoked cigarettes which was lower than the figures of 8.2 and 7.0 across England as a whole and the West Midlands respectively.

Smoking Ill Health and Mortality

  • In 2015/16 there were 2,015 smoking attributable hospital admissions in Herefordshire which represents an admission rate of 1,567 per 100,000 population, a figure significantly lower than the national rate.
  • The admission rate for males was approximately 50 per cent higher than that for females.
  • Between 2010/11 and 2011/12 the average cost per capita of each smoking attributable hospital admission in Herefordshire was £32.75 compared to £37.47 for England and £34.89 for the West Midlands.
  • The local smoking attributable mortality rate has shown a general decrease, falling from 265 per 100,000 population to 235 per 100,000 between 2007 and 2015 and has been consistently lower than the national and regional rates.
  • In 2013-15 lung cancer was the underlying cause of 29 per cent of smoking related deaths in Herefordshire, while chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (31 per cent), heart disease (12 per cent) and stroke (3.6 per cent) were also important.
  • As of September 2016 the estimated total annual cost of smoking-related sickness in Herefordshire is £9.2 million.

Smoking Cessation

  • Since 2011/12 the number of smokers setting a quit date in Herefordshire has fallen steadily which mirrors the national and regional patterns.
  • In 2015/16 the proportion of smokers in Herefordshire setting a quit date successfully quitting was 51 per cent, the same figure recorded nationally and regionally.
  • In 2016/17, the rate of successful smoking quitters at four weeks in Herefordshire was 571 per 100,000, much lower than in England (2,248) and the West Midlands region (2.159) and was the lowest among Herefordshire’s comparator group.  Between 2013/14 and 2016/17 the rate at which individuals successfully quit smoking declined by 1,208 points from 1,725 per 100,000. 

Last updated: Thursday, August 23, 2018