The chapter also presents data on self-reported exposure to secondhand smoke and data on saliva cotinine, an objective measure of non-smokers’ exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.


Smoking status 

  • About one in four men and one in six women said they were smokers.
  • Men smoke more than women, with the average number of cigarettes smoked per day at 12.5 for men and 10.8 for women. Older smokers had higher consumption.


  • Smoking prevalence was highest for men in the West Midlands and women in the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber.


  • The proportion of smokers in the lowest two income groups was double the proportion in the highest income groups.
  • 31% of men and 24% of women who had a limiting longstanding illness were current smokers. 

Trends in smoking 

  • Among women, there has been a steady decline in the proportion of smokers since around 2003. Among men there have been fluctuations year on year since 2006 rather than a continuing downward trend.

Use of e-cigarettes

  • 3% of adults were currently using e-cigarettes while 2% of men and 1% of women were using other nicotine delivery products but not e-cigarettes.
  • Among men, 29% of current smokers and 6% of ex-smokers had used e-cigarettes. The proportions were similar for women.

Second hand smoke

  • Self-reported exposure to second hand smoke was highest among those aged 16-24; over half of this age group reported at least some exposure.