Approximately 6.4 million people reported that they smoked in 2022 and now we can see the UK's smoking hotspots in a new map.

12.9% (6.4 million) of people aged 18 years and over in the UK smoke cigarettes, according to the Office of National Statistics.

The number of smokers has been declining for decades and the 2022 figures show that we have hit the lowest proportion of current smokers since records began in 2011.

This sounds like good news and yet, smoking remains one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK, according to the NHS.

The Gazette: It's one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK, according to the NHS. ( Getty Images)It's one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK, according to the NHS. ( Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)

Currently, smoking causes around one in five cancer cases and more than one in four cancer deaths each year in the UK.

How many people die from smoking every year in the UK?

In fact, every year around 76,000 people in the UK die from smoking and many more continue to live with debilitating smoking-related illnesses.

The health service has also stressed that smoking increases your risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions.

Following a Government commitment to make England smoke-free by 2030, a review was published in June 2022 which was led by Dr Javed Khan.

The review made a series of recommendations, including increasing the legal age for buying tobacco.

As part of the review, Dr Khan estimated the annual cost to society of smoking at around £17 billion.

He added that smoking costs £2.4 billion each year to the NHS alone.

UK's smoking hotspots revealed in new map

Official statistics show that smoking levels fluctuate across the UK.

Stafford, (2.9%) Rushcliffe and Nottinghamshire (4%) recorded the lowest levels of smoking prevalence in England, the Office for National Statistics said.

Meanwhile, Kingston upon Hull and Blackpool have been in the 10 local authorities with the highest proportion of current smokers eight times each since 2012.

In 2022, the proportion of current smokers decreased in Kingston upon Hull (18.9 per cent) and Blackpool (18.8 per cent), respectively.

You can see where your area ranks in our map below.

The map comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to crack down on smoking during the Conservative Party conference.

Mr Sunak has said that the legal age for buying tobacco should rise every year to stop youngsters from taking up smoking in a speech at the Conservative Paty conference on Wednesday.

The plans, which would introduce a new law banning tobacco sales to anybody born on or after January 1 2009, would mean up to 1.7 million fewer people smoking by 2075, according to Downing Street.

The announcement follows a similar law passed in New Zealand last year which aims to limit the number of places you can buy cigarettes and how much nicotine is allowed in smoked tobacco products. 

It comes as the Children’s Commissioner for England calls for a ban on vapes that must be as strong as the smoking proposals.

Dame Rachel de Souza said: “We need shop fronts cleared” of vapes and that proper regulation is required for the products, which have exploded in popularity among young people.

The Government launched an eight-week consultation on Thursday (October 12) seeking views on how vapes can be used by smokers wanting to quit, but at the same time lessen their appeal to under-18s.