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Smoking prevalence in London

OHID’s Local Tobacco Control Profile provides a snapshot of the extent of tobacco use, tobacco related harm, and measures being taken to reduce harm at a local level. These profiles have been designed to help local government and health services to assess the effect of tobacco use on their local populations. They assist in commissioning and planning decisions to tackle tobacco use and improve the health of local communities.

View the Local Tobacco Control Profile data for London and individual boroughs.

The tool allows users to compare their population against others in the region and benchmark against the England or regional average. It provides data on a wide range of indicators related to the smoking of cigarettes including different measures of prevalence in adults and young people, smoking-related mortality and the wider impacts of smoking on health. The Health Survey for England and the Smoking Toolkit Study (non-Government Statistical Service) also collects data on smoking habits and e-cigarettes.

One in ten (11.5 per cent) of Londoners still smoke, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and rates are higher in more deprived boroughs. This compares with 13 per cent across England.

Smoking prevalence in London Integrated Care Boards (ICBs)

A breakdown of smoking rates in London by ICB.

Smoking prevalence in London Integrated Care Boards (ICBs)

A closer look at the number of adult smokers by borough

A borough by borough breakdown of adult smokers in London.

A closer look at the number of adult smokers by borough

There are many well-known inequalities in smoking prevalence. Survey data has shown that smoking prevalence varies between social groups. People are four times as likely to smoke if they live in a deprived area than one that is affluent. Giving up smoking is the single most impactful lifestyle factor a smoker can make to increase their healthy life expectancy.

Smoking prevalence and deprivation in London

There is a clear correlation between smoking prevalence and deprivation.

Smoking prevalence and deprivation

Which boroughs have lower inequalities in smoking?

A closer look at the London boroughs of Brent, Harrow and Haringey.

Which boroughs have lower inequalities in smoking?

People disadvantaged due to poor mental health are also more likely to live in circumstances of socioeconomic deprivation. This is partly because deprivation plays a role in the causal pathway to developing a mental health condition and partly because living with poor mental health can lead to loss of employment, housing, income, and other attributes.

Estimated costs to London each year Productivity costs Healthcare costs Social care costs Fire costs
 

£2.98Bn

 

£2.48Bn

 

£308.12M

 

£150.4M

 

£40.98M

Source: ASH Ready Reckoner 2023

Smoking is costing London £2.6bn a year according to figures from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

The biggest cost to smokers and the wider economy is smoking-related ill-health, with smokers facing job losses and reduction in wages as a result of their habit, as well as being more likely to die prematurely, economic analysis commissioned by charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) found.

The new analysis also shows that smokers lose a large part of their income to tobacco – an estimated £1.9bn in London each year, or on average £2,451 per smoker.

Useful links:

2021 ONS Annual Population Survey estimates of smoking prevalence

Tobacco control profiles by borough

Report on the impact of smoking-related illness on social care need and the resulting costs in England. Source: Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)

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