One in 20 hospital admissions 'due to smoking'
29 September 2009
One in 20 hospital admissions in England is due to smoking and treating illnesses related to the habit costs the NHS £5.2 billion a year, official statistics suggest.
There were around 1.4 million hospital admissions in 2007/8 for diseases caused by smoking in people aged over 35, a report from the NHS Information Centre said.
For people aged over 35 smoking accounts for five per cent of all hospital admissions and one in five deaths in this age group is attributed to smoking, the report said. An estimated 83,900 people died as a result of smoking in 2007/8 – 18 per cent of all deaths for adults aged 35 or over.
The proportion of adults smoking has dropped slightly from 22 per cent in 2006 to 21 per cent in 2007 but many diseases take years to develop so ill health related to the high smoking rates of the 1970s and 1980s are only now manifesting. The drop is mainly due to more people never taking up the habit in the first place, the report said.
The report said 35 per cent of deaths due to respiratory diseases and 29 per cent of all cancer deaths were due to smoking. One in seven deaths from circulatory diseases was also attributed to smoking, the report said.
Public Health Minister Gillian Merron said: "These figures reveal the sad reality that over a million smokers needlessly end up in hospital each year due to their habit. "
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