It is now widely accepted that the UK is in the grip of a tobacco epidemic (Godfrey et al, 1993). There are currently about 13 million adults who smoke - approximately 27 per cent of the British population. Smokers in the UK also smoke more cigarettes than the European average. The consequences of smoking are many. It is the single largest cause of preventable illness and premature death. Smoking accounts for a fifth of all deaths in the UK, and it has been estimated that one in two long-term smokers will die as a result of smoking (Peto et al, 1994) and half of those will die before age 69. Patterns of morbidity are also closely related to smoking. Smokers face a higher risk than non-smokers of dying from many diseases, as Peto and colleagues have outlined (1992): - A twenty-fold higher risk from lung cancer - A tenfold risk from chronic obstructive airways disease - A 1.5 to threefold risk from coronary heart disease.
|Publisher||Department of Health (DH)|
|Publication status||Published - 31 Oct 2000|