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Higher hospital admission rates for male than female smokers

Smoking-linked admission twice as high amongst men

Adrian O'Dowd

Friday, 29 May 2015

Men are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital for smoking-related problems than women, according to figures published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

The HSCIC’s new report Statistics on Smoking, England 2015, published in the run-up to World No Tobacco Day on May 31, shows the heavier impact that smoking has on men than women.

The report is the 10th annual statistical compendium to detail numbers of hospital admissions of adults aged 35 and over due to diseases that can be caused by smoking.

It shows that in 2013-14, for adults aged 35 and over, there were an estimated 285,000 hospital admissions that can be attributed to smoking for men, compared with just 169,000  among women. This represents 6% of all admissions for men and 3% for women.

The HSCIC said these figures showed that cancer which can be caused by smoking (158,000) was the disease category with the highest number of smoking-attributable admissions.

Large differences in rates by gender were observed in various cancers such as 72% of admissions for upper respiratory site cancers were attributable to smoking for men, compared with 48% for women.

A third (33%) of admissions for kidney and renal pelvis cancers were attributable to smoking for men, compared with only 8% for women.

The report also provides a range of information on smoking among adults and children, including prevalence, behaviours and attitudes, and smoking-related costs.

Overall, it showed that the current prevalence of cigarette smoking was around 19% but higher for men (22%) than women (17%). The overall rate has remained largely unchanged in recent years, compared to 26% in 2003.

Youth smoking rates are continuing to fall as the report says that amongst 11- to 15-year-old pupils in England in 2013, less than a quarter (22%) reported that they had tried smoking at least once.

This is the lowest level on record since the data were first collected in 1982, and continues the decline since 2003, when 42% of pupils had tried smoking.

In 2013, smoking prevalence amongst adults aged 18 and over was lowest in London, the south east and the south west, where it was 17%. This compares to the highest in the north east, where it was 22%, followed by 20% in the north west and Yorkshire and The Humber.

The net ingredient cost of all prescription items used to help people quit smoking in 2013-14 was nearly £48.8 million, says the report.

This is a fall of 16% on the £58.1 million spent in 2012-13 and 26% less than its peak in 2010-11, of £65.9 million.

Funding the smoking habit has become increasingly more expensive, as the report says that the price of tobacco has increased by 87% over the last 10 years from 2004 to 2014, making it 30% less affordable.

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