One in five deaths due to smoking, says statistics
Almost one in five deaths in 2004 among adults over the age of 35 were due to smoking, according to figures issued by the health and social care Information Centre.
Of the 501,000 deaths reported among adults over the age of 35 in England and Wales over the year, an estimated 89,000, or 18 per cent, were directly attributable to smoking.
Tobacco-related cancer was estimated to have been the cause of 40,000 deaths, while respiratory diseases caused a further 24,500.
The results are broadly consistent with previous studies on the health costs of tobacco. More than 550,000 are hospitalised annually for smoking-related complaints.
Smoking-related fatalities were far higher among men, at 23 per cent, than among women, at 13 per cent.
Other figures showed that the number of smokers has never been lower since comparable records began, with 25 per cent of adults now smoking.
This compares to 39 per cent in 1980. The fall was mainly due to fewer people starting to smoke, said the Information Centre.
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