Considerable progress has been made in reducing cigarette smoking in adults in the UK. However, there has been less success in reducing socio-economic inequalities in smoking. Addressing inequalities in smoking has been identified by the current and previous Government as a public health priority for England.
The aim of this project is to support tobacco control strategy and policy development at the regional and local levels in England by producing a report which: reviews the evidence on action to reduce socioeconomic inequalities in smoking; outlines what is known about inequalities and smoking at the regional level; describes tobacco control policy and practice at the regional and local level in England; and discusses the implications for regional and local level tobacco control, and national and regional data collection. The report consists of three separate but complementary elements: a rapid narrative review of the international evidence of effectiveness of tobacco control interventions to reduce socio-economic inequalities in smoking, a review of surveys and routine data on adult smoking (prevalence, consumption, quitting) and socio-economic status in England, and the findings from qualitative interviews with regional and local level tobacco control policy makers. Several recommendations are made about the implications of the findings for future work including gaps in the current evidence base, and the data collection/dissemination and other support needed to develop, implement and evaluate action to address this issue at the regional and local level.