Hospital admissions as a result of smoking increased by almost 5 per cent in 2022-23, according to the latest figures from NHS England, although they remain lower than before the COVID pandemic.
There were an estimated 408,700 smoking-related hospital admissions in England in 2022-23, up from 389,900 in 2021-22. Around one in six of all admissions for respiratory diseases were estimated to be smoking-related, along with 8 per cent of cancer admissions and 7 per cent of cardiovascular disease admissions. According to the latest OHID statistics, almost half of the people in treatment for drug or alcohol issues are smokers, with less than 5 per cent reporting having been offered a referral for smoking cessation services (https://www.drinkanddrugsnews.com/ten-per-cent-increase-in-people-entering-treatment-for-cocaine/).
‘No other consumer product kills up to two-thirds of its users, which is why we have set out plans to stop children who turn 14 this year and younger from ever legally being sold cigarettes – the most significant public health intervention in a generation,’ said public health minister Andrea Leadsom. ‘We are doubling funding for stop smoking services, helping 360,000 people quit, and providing local authorities with one million free vapes via our world-first “swap to stop” programme.’
Delegates at this year’s Global Forum on Nicotine, however, heard how the last decade had been a challenging one for tobacco harm reduction, with ‘regulators, parliamentarians and legislators changing the pace of progress’ according to Prof Gerry Stimson, and the WHO remaining largely opposed to products like e-cigarettes (https://www.drinkanddrugsnews.com/igniting-the-debate/).
According to a recent survey of almost 12,300 adults commissioned by ASH, nearly 40 per cent of UK smokers think vaping is ‘as or more risky’ compared to smoking, an increase from just 27 per cent a year ago (https://www.drinkanddrugsnews.com/four-in-ten-smokers-believe-vaping-is-as-harmful/).