Smoking and Tobacco

Smoking is the largest preventable cause of death in the country with almost 80,000 people dying every year due to smoking related causes. As a result, smoking accounts for 17% of all deaths for adults aged 35 or over.

In Knowsley, the total annual cost to the economy of smoking is estimated to be £46.6m, with £7m of that total relating to costs to the NHS (including the treatment of smoking related illnesses and treating the effects of passive smoking in non-smokers).

The prevalence of smoking decreases with age after the 25-34 age group (25.5%) to 10.7% of those aged 60 years or over. This pattern is mirrored for males, but is relatively stable for females between the ages of 16 and 59, before falling to 9.6% of females aged 60 years or over.

Lung cancer incidence is highest for people aged 75 years and over, which may be expected due to the long time lags that can occur between smoking and the development of the disease.

Prevalence of smoking in Knowsley increases steadily with age and peaks at 40% of adults aged 45-54 reporting that they currently smoke. Thereafter, prevalence decreases sharply to 19% of adults aged 65 years or over who currently smoke.

Within Knowsley, smoking prevalence ranges from 8.1% in Halewood North electoral ward to 27.6% in Stockbridge electoral ward, the latter being more than 3 times higher than the former. Out of 111 electoral wards in Merseyside, Stockbridge had the 3rd highest proportion of smokers whereas Halewood North had the 13th lowest proportion of smokers.

The latest full year of data received from stop smoking services shows that in the 2014/15 financial year, Knowsley had 1,220 successful quitters per 100,000 population aged 16 years or over. This was higher than across the whole of England (522) and the North West region (582). Indeed, Knowsley had the 3rd highest quit rate nationally during 2014/15 and the highest in the North West region.

Between 2011 and 2013, there were 551 new cases of lung cancer in Knowsley, around 184 per year. This gave a rate of 144.3 new cases per 100,000 population, significantly higher than England (76.8), the North West region (98.7) and the Liverpool City Region (117.5).In the ten years since 2001-03, the incidence of lung cancer has increased by 11% in Knowsley, however increases have also been observed in all of the other comparator areas over this period.

For more information the full JSNA report can be found here JSNA Report – Smoking and Tobacco