This briefing summarises NICE's recommendations for local authorities and their partner organisations, on preventing people from taking up smoking and helping people to stop smoking. It is particularly relevant to health and wellbeing boards.
Local authorities have a responsibility to address health inequalities, and smoking is the primary reason for the gap in healthy life-expectancy between rich and poor (Fair society healthy lives [The Marmot review]).
Tobacco use is the single greatest cause of preventable deaths in England – killing over 80,000 people per year. This is greater than the combined total of preventable deaths caused by obesity, alcohol, traffic accidents, illegal drugs and HIV infections (Smoking statistics: Illness and death).
One in every two regular smokers is killed by tobacco, and half of them will die before age 70, losing an average 10 years of life (Mortality in relation to smoking: 50 years' observations on male British doctors).
Two-thirds of smokers say they began smoking before age 18, and 9 out of 10 started before the age of 19 (General lifestyle survey 2009).
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is an independent organisation providing guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health.
For further information on how to use this briefing and how it was developed, see 'About this briefing'.