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Health Inequalities Resource Pack



Foreword by Professor John Moxham

ASH with the support of the Faculty of Public Health, the ADPH, Public Health England, FRESH North East, Tobacco Free Futures and Public Health Action (formerly Smokefree South West), has produced a set of materials to help reduce smoking rates among people experiencing health inequalities.

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable ill-health and premature death, and is responsible for half the difference in life expectancy between the rich and poor. Whilst smoking rates overall have declined significantly in recent years they remain much higher in disadvantaged and socially marginalised groups. This inevitably perpetuates cycles of inequality. The pack is designed as a set of pragmatic tools, setting out the problem and solutions, to support the case for targeted tobacco control in groups with high smoking prevalence. These include:

• Low income families
• People with a mental health condition
• People with complex needs (e.g. homelessness or those who misuse substances)
• People living with a long term condition
• Pregnant women
• Member of the LGBT community

Smoking also causes many people to fall below the poverty line. It is estimated that over a million people could be raised out of poverty if people in their household quit smoking. This poverty calculator shows the number of households that include an adult smoker and are below the poverty line. The data also estimates the number of households by local authority that could be brought out of poverty if they quit smoking. You can download the technical report for the data by clicking here.

Smoking and poverty calculator


Estimates of poverty in England adjusted for expenditure on tobacco

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Estimates of poverty in the UK adjusted for expenditure on tobacco


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Smoking: Low income families


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Smoking: Prisoners and Offenders


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Smoking and mental health conditions


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Smoking and multiple needs


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Smoking and long term conditions


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Smoking in pregnancy


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Smoking and the LGBT community


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Health inequalities resource – references


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ASH Briefing: Health inequalities and smoking


This briefing explains why smoking is a major contributory factor and what can be done to reduce health inequalities caused by smoking.

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