1 in 4 deaths in Scotland attributed to smoking


Smoking remains one of the biggest contributory factors to Scotland’s poor health record.  In 2004 it was estimated that 13,473 deaths were attributed to smoking, equating to 24% of all deaths.

However, good news is to be found in a reduction of smoking among the aged 16+ age group in Scotland.  The numbers of 16+ people who smoke has continued to fall, from 30.7% in 1999 to 24.3% in 2009.

The Scottish Government in desiring to continue this downward trend has established a National Indicator to reduce the percentage of the adult population who smoke down to 22% by 2010. 

Unfortunately, the statistics show smoking is also highly correlated with deprivation, and smoking prevalence in deprived areas is consistently higher than the Scottish average.  Although smoking prevalence in deprived areas has decreased in recent years, it has fallen more slowly than for Scotland as a whole.

In 2000, 45.2% of adults were smokers in the 15% most deprived areas compared to 29.3% of adults in Scotland overall. In 2009, 41.0% of adults were smokers in the most deprived areas compared to 24.3% of adults in Scotland overall.

There was a further national target to reduce smoking during pregnancy, which seeks a reduction in the proportion of women who smoke during pregnancy from 29% to 23% between 1995 and 2005 and to 20% by 2010.  The proportion of women smoking during pregnancy in 2008/2009 was 18.1% (provisional).

Smoking is a major factor in stillbirths in Scotland and the risks to the unborn child are serious and not smoking during pregnancy has an immediate and positive effect on the baby.


An atlas of tobacco smoking in Scotland – http://www.scotpho.org.uk/nmsruntime/saveasdialog.asp?lID=3907&sID=3256

Please note: Due to the large file size (~9Mb) this file may take several minutes to download over a fast internet connection. Over a dial up connection it may take 20+ minutes.  Scottish Household Survey, NHS Information Services Division n.b.: Data for pregnant women are based on financial years rather than calendar years, e.g. the figure plotted against 2009 relates to 2008/2009 and smoking during pregnancy data for 2009 is provisional.

The most current figures taken from Scottish Household Survey, Last updated: Thursday, March 31, 2011 Health of Scotland’s population – Smoking