New data shows impact of smoking on hospitals but decline in support to smokers

Friday 29 May 2015

New data published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre [1] reveals that smoking continues to have a major impact on hospital admissions with 454,700 admission attributable to smoking in 2013/14.

However, at the same time support to help smokers to quit has fallen with 800,000 fewer prescriptions for stop smoking medication, a fall of nearly a third from 2010/11. Helping people to quit smoking has been assessed by NICE as one of the most cost effective interventions in the NHS. Evidence based support from a qualified professional at least triples your chances of successfully quitting.

ASH estimates that smoking costs the NHS £2 billion a year [2].

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive at health charity ASH said:

“Death and illness from smoking remain far too high despite progress. It is worrying that despite this burden help for smokers to quit appears to be declining. The NHS is facing serious funding challenges over the next five years and if more is not done to reduce preventable ill health it will struggle to thrive. There are few healthcare interventions as cost effective as helping a smoker to quit. For the NHS funding gap to be bridged smoking related illness must become a thing of the past.”


[1] Health and Social Care Information Centre, Statistics on Smoking in England 2015

[2] ASH ready reckoner