New findings on the relationship between smoking and poverty

28 October 2015        

cigarettes in an ashtray

New analysis from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) shows that more than 1.4 million households with a smoker are living below the poverty line.

The national data shows that, of the 5 million households in England that include an adult smoker, 1.4 million (27%) are below the poverty line, and an estimated 418,000 households could be lifted out of poverty if they quit smoking.

A new Local Poverty Calculator launched today by ASH shows local councils how many households in their area have a smoker and are living in poverty.

Mike Hobday, our Director of Policy said: "These figures are a timely reminder of how this deadly addiction is contributing to thousands of people living below the poverty line, as well as doubling their risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
“The NHS says that by using a stop smoking service an individual is up to four times more likely to quit. We need more investment from central and local Government in order to ensure stop smoking services are properly funded. By investing in these services we can end what is one of the biggest determinants of health inequalities of our time.”

Quitting smoking is the single most important step you can take to protect the health of your heart. Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with people who have never smoked. Stopping smoking has huge benefits and it’s never too late to give up.

To find out more, take a look at our smoking information. We've got advice on how to quit, as well as the health benefits of giving up.