Smoking (tobacco use) - Public Health Dorset

Smoking (tobacco use)

As a modifiable lifestyle choice, smoking is the most preventable cause of death and ill health in the UK. Smoking is a major risk factor for diseases such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease and it is also linked to cancers in other parts of the body. Smoking is not just a risk factor for an individual; exposure to second hand smoke (passive smoking) is also recognised as a hazard, particularly to the health of children. Additionally, smoking in pregnancy can cause health problems for both mother and baby, such as a higher risk of miscarriage, labour complications, premature birth and sudden unexpected death in infancy.

In the UK, adult smoking prevalence rates are declining. In 2016, 15.8% of adults were smoking (rate of ‘adult current smokers’), which is a statistically significant decrease from 20.1% in 2010. Smoking is more prevalent among those aged 25 to 34. Men are more likely to smoke than women. Locally, only adult smoking rates in Dorset are better than the average rate across England.

The latest government target is to reduce the adult smoking rate in England to 12% or less by 2022.

In England, child smoking rates are lower than that of adults, with 8% of young people thought to be current smokers. Girls were more likely to be current smokers than boys. Rates also vary by deprivation, with young people from the most deprived areas being more likely to be regular smokers. Locally, smoking prevalence at age 15 in Bournemouth and Poole are higher than England, for both current and regular smokers.

The latest government target is to reduce the rate of 15 year olds who regularly smoke to 3% or less.

Key statistics

Indicators of smoking/tobacco use for our region have been drawn from Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF).

* indicates a statistically significant difference from the respective English Average.

Smoking key statistics
Indicator Bournemouth Poole Dorset England
Smoking Prevalence in adults (18+) - current smokers (%) 17.3 16.5 12.6* 15.5
Smoking status at time of delivery (% of women) 11.7 11.7 11.7 10.6
Smoking prevalence at age 15, current smokers (%) 11* 11.2* 9.2 8.2
Smoking prevalence at age 15, regular smokers (%) 7* 7.4* 5.8 5.5
Smoking attrib hospital admissions, aged 35+ (rate per 100,000) 2,299* 1,636* 1,397* 1,726

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