Smoking status

  • Among children aged 8-15, 8% of boys and 7% of girls reported that they had ever smoked a cigarette. 
  • Only 1% of children aged 8-15 reported that they were regular smokers, smoking at least one cigarette per week. This was higher among older children: 4% of boys aged 15 and 6% of girls aged 15 reported smoking regularly.


  • Among boys, the proportion who had ever smoked was lowest in the North West at 4% and highest in the North East at 16%. 
  • Among girls, the proportion who had ever smoked was lowest in the East Midlands and London at 3% and highest in the West Midlands and the East of England at 12%.

Exposure to second hand smoke  

  • Among children aged 0-15, the mean number of hours per week exposed to others’ smoke decreased from 2.6 hours for boys and 2.7 hours for girls in 2007-2008 to 1.0 hour for boys and 1.2 hours for girls in 2011-2013. 
  • For both sexes, the average number of hours spent exposed to other people’s smoke increased with age. 
  • Children from lower income households were more likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke.