FOI REF: FOI/2023/1042

You asked

How many death certificates in 2020, 2021 and 2022 list smoking as a contributor to cause of death?

We said

Thank you for your request.

We do not hold information on deaths caused by smoking specifically.

When we release cause of death data, this is derived from the death certificate. We would be able to extract data of deaths from common smoking related diseases, however we would not be able to confirm whether the deceased were in fact smokers. 

ONS mortality data comes from the information collected at death registration. All the conditions mentioned on the death certificate are coded using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). Unfortunately, we do not hold the information you have requested; smoking habits are not recorded as part of this process. 

We have, however, produced analysis of Adult smoking habits in the UK, in partnership with Public Health England. The latest data available is for 2020. 

The Deaths Registered Series and 21st Century mortality datasets are available if you wish to look at mortality statistics by underlying cause of death. However, this will only show the cause of death, such as lung cancer which can be attributed to smoking but it will not categorically state if the deceased smoked. 

This information is also available to you via explorable datasets in NOMIS

NHS Digital may be better placed to answer your enquiry. They can be contacted via the following email address: NHS England have produced analysis of smoking-related ill health and mortality, the latter using ONS mortality data. You can view this data here: Statistics on Smoking, England 2020.