Smoking among men has increased, according to a recently published health survey for England.
The 1996 report details how the overall percentage for men smoking had gone up 2% to 30%. Smoking among women had only increased marginally over the four year period.
The survey found that people in Social Class I reported better health than their counterparts in Social Class V. Chief medical officer Sir Kenneth Calman commented: “The survey underlined health inequalities.”
He added the results would be “a major tool in the development and monitoring” of the upcoming public health Green Paper.
Women fared less well in the figures for obesity, with 17% of women compared to 16% classed as obese. The proportion of women drinking over their recommended 14 units had also risen in a year from 13% to 15%. But the percentage of men drinking over the advised sensible level had not shown any trend in the past few years.
Inequalities were best demonstrated in the report by an analysis of the date by area characteristics. It also included special measures of general health.
Despite the figures showing an increase in smoking and drinking, some 77% of men and 75% of women described their health as `very good’ or `good’.