The number of adult smokers in England fell by 1.6 million between 2011 and 2017 while there was a reduction in dispensed stop smoking aids, official figures have shown.
The latest figures from NHS Digital on smoking rates show there were 6.1 million adult smokers last year compared with 7.7 million in 2011, a testament to the work of community pharmacists whose smoking cessation services have made an impact.
Hospital admissions due to smoking however was on the increase, with 484,700 hospital admissions attributable to smoking in 2016-17 compared with 474,300 in 2015-16 and 444,700 in 2006-7. Men accounted for 6% of all hospital admissions and women 3%.
Blackpool, Manchester, Kingston upon Hull, Sunderland and Hartlepool had the highest rates of smoking-related hospital admissions (above 3,000 per 100,000 population) while Wokingham had the lowest rate (969 per 100,000 population) followed by Windsor and Maidenhead (1,051), Isle of Wight (1,082) and Redbridge (1,091).
Some 77,900 deaths were due to smoking in 2016, a decrease of 2% on 2015 (79,100) and 7% on 2006 (83,400). Men accounted for 20% of deaths and women 12%.
The report also revealed that just under 11% of pregnant women were smokers at the time they gave birth in 2017-18, a similar level to that in 2016-17 but down from 16% in 2006-07.
The number of stop smoking aids dispensed stood at 0.86 million in 2017-18 compared to 2.48 million in 2007-08 and 2.56 million in 2010-11.
Bradford City clinical commissioning group had the highest rate of items dispensed in 2017-18 with 40 per 1,000 population while Wyre Forest and Redditch and Bromsgrove recorded rates of less than one per 1,000 population.
Adults aged 25 to 34 were most likely to smoke and people aged 65 and over were least likely to smoke while 6% of pupils between 11 and 15 smoked in 2016, down from 22% in 1996.