Unemployed more likely to smoke and risk heart health

26 September 2013        

Category: BHF Comment

Cigarette on ashtray

People who are unemployed are twice as likely to smoke, according to new statistics about the smoking habits of the nation.

According to the latest report released by the Office for National Statistics, 20 per cent of adults in Great Britain were cigarette smokers in 2012, with no change on the previous year.

But it also showed over half of unemployed 25- to 34-year-olds currently smoke (54%). Unemployed people were twice as likely to smoke (39%) as those in employment (21%) or retired people and students (17%).

Maura Gillespie, our Head of Policy and Advocacy, said: “Here we have yet more clear evidence of the troubling link between employment status and smoking rates and it doesn’t make great reading.

“Smoking is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease and there’s an urgent need for increased and sustained funding for targeted cessation services in areas with high numbers of smokers.”