There are clear differences in GP recorded smoking prevalence in Hackney across different age groups.

Figure 1 shows that recorded smoking prevalence is lower in residents in their late teens, steeply increasing for residents age 20-24. Prevalence rates are roughly constant from age 25 to 54, after which point prevalence declines with age. However, regarding smoking in pregnancy, teenage mothers in England are six times more likely to smoke than older mothers. 4

While the low recorded smoking prevalence among 16-19 year olds may reflect a genuinely lower prevalence at younger ages (at age 15, less than 6% of Hackney teens report smoking – see the Comparisons with other areas and over time subsection), it is likely that there is also a degree of under-reporting. Only 63% of residents in this age group had their smoking status recorded (compared to over 95% in almost all other age brackets) and we also know that nationally two thirds of adult smokers begin smoking before the age of 18. 5

Figure 1: Proportion of adult Hackney residents recorded as smokers by their GP, by age (2016)

Source: Local service data extracted from the GP register by CEG, Blizard Institute, April 2016.

Notes: Data covers Hackney residents registered with a GP in Hackney, the City of London, Tower Hamlets and Newham.

Due to Hackney’s young age profile, the same prevalence rate across the 25-54 age range does not translate into the same number of smokers in each age bracket. Figure 2 shows that the number of smokers increases steeply to a peak at age 30-34 (reflecting the greater number of residents in this age bracket), after which numbers decline. 6

Figure 2: Number of adult Hackney residents recorded as smokers by their GP, by age (2016)

Source: Local service data extracted from the GP register by CEG, Blizard Institute, April 2016.

Notes: Data covers Hackney residents registered with a GP in Hackney, the City of London, Tower Hamlets and Newham.

The likelihood of using SSS among smokers in Hackney appears to increase with age. Figure 3 shows that just 4% of the total number of recorded smokers under the age of 35 used SSS in 2015/16, increasing to 12% in the 65-75 age range. Numbers are too small for the 75+ age groups to draw strong conclusions about rates of service use among these smokers.

If smoking prevalence rates in the 16-19 age bracket are under-recorded (see discussion of Figure 1 above), then this may point to even lower rates of service use among younger residents who smoke – and, therefore, greater unmet need.

Younger users of SSS in Hackney are also less likely to be recorded as successful quitters than other clients – 33% of 15-24 year olds quit in 2015/16, compared to an average of 48% over all age groups. There is some evidence that, in general, chances of successfully quitting increase with age, but statistical uncertainty around the estimates is too great to draw strong conclusions in this respect.

Figure 4: Hackney SSS use as a proportion of the number of Hackney residents recorded as smokers by their GP, by age (2015/16)

Sources:

  • GP data extracted from the GP register by CEG, Blizard Institute, April 2016. Data covers Hackney residents registered with a GP in Hackney, the City of London, Tower Hamlets and Newham.
  • Local SSS data recorded through SONAR system, extracted July 2016. Data covers all SSS based in Hackney, no information available on borough of residence.

Notes: Records available for analysis are not linked so we do not know if all those using the SSS are (a) Hackney residents and/or (b) recorded as smokers by their GP.

References

  1. Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians, “Nicotine addiction in Britain,” 2000.
  2. Health & Social Care Information Centre, “Statistics on Smoking: England 2015,” 2015.
  3. London Borough of Hackney, “A Profile of Hackney, its People and Place,” January 2016. [Online]. Available: http://hackney.gov.uk/media/2665/Hackney-profile/pdf/Hackney-Profile. [Accessed 28 October 2016].
  4. Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians, “Nicotine addiction in Britain,” 2000.
  5. Health & Social Care Information Centre, “Statistics on Smoking: England 2015,” 2015.
  6. London Borough of Hackney, “A Profile of Hackney, its People and Place,” January 2016. [Online]. Available: http://hackney.gov.uk/media/2665/Hackney-profile/pdf/Hackney-Profile. [Accessed 28 October 2016].