Tobacco use is the biggest public health threat globally and up to half of all current users will die of a tobacco-related disease. It is a risk factor for many health conditions including lung, throat, mouth, breast and colorectal cancer; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema; cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and stroke; miscarriage and low birth weight in babies; and hypertensive heart disease (caused by high blood pressure).

For statistics on smoking during pregnancy, please see our maternity and infancy section.

Smoking prevalence

The Lancashire-12 area has an estimated adult (18+) smoking prevalence of 16%, in line with the England national estimate of 15.5% (Annual Population Survey, 2016). At a district level, smoking prevalence estimates range from 25.4% in Rossendale to 7.3% in Ribble Valley. The neighbouring upper tier authorities of Blackburn with Darwen (19.5%) and Blackpool (22.5%) are both estimated to have significantly higher levels of adult (18+) smoking prevalence than the national average.

Stop smoking services

Lancashire County Council is responsible for commissioning stop smoking services across the Lancashire-12 area. For the 2016/17 period, the authority recorded a 'successful quitters at four weeks per 100,000 smokers' rate of 2,986, which is higher than the England rate of 2,248. In real terms, this equates to 4,679 persons who were recorded as having successfully quit smoking at four weeks. The neighbouring authorities of Blackburn with Darwen (3,297) and Blackpool (3,287) also recorded rates that were higher than the national rate.

Smoking attributable hospital admissions

During the 2016/17 period, Lancashire-12 recorded a significantly higher directly standardised rate (DSR) per 100,000 of smoking attributable hospital admissions than the England national rate (1,888 vs. 1,685). The unitary authorities of Blackburn with Darwen (2,113) and Blackpool (3,116) also recorded rates that were significantly above the England average.

Smoking attributable mortality

Smoking attributable mortality (2014-16) is significantly higher in Lancashire-12 than England (272), with the area recording a DSR per 100,000 of 306.9. Blackburn with Darwen (390) and Blackpool (442.9) also recorded rates that were significantly above the national average.

Local research

The health behaviours JSNA report (2015) indicated that electronic cigarette use is low across Lancashire-12, with only five per cent of respondents (aged 16+) stating they use e-cigarettes occasionally or daily. Although they are considered less harmful than tobacco use, the full health impacts are not yet known. There are also concerns over the contents of e-cigarettes and associated safety issues, including fire and the risk of explosion when the devices are being recharged.

Lancashire County Council's trading standards take part in a north west wide survey of 14-17-year-olds on the subject of alcohol and tobacco use. Almost 750 respondents from Lancashire completed the online survey (Jan-Mar 2017) and the final report can be viewed here (PDF 1.0 MB).

Page updated February 2018