Hastings has the highest female smoking rate in England, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The statistics revealed 27.8 per cent of females in the town smoke – up on the national average of 14.1 per cent.
The figures also showed 15.5 per cent of adults in England smoke with the likelihood four times higher in deprived areas.
Charles Bloom, managing director of Vapourcore.com, said: “It is common knowledge that men hold a slightly higher smoking rate than women; in the UK, 17.7 per cent of men are current smokers in comparison to 14.1 per cent of women. However, these levels are beginning to peter out. As less and less people – men and women – decide against lighting up, the gender gap begins to shift and draw closer.
“What is interesting, is where in the UK men and women smoke the most. We found the top ten local authorities in England for the highest male smoking rates, differ completely to the top ten for the highest female smoking rates. This suggests it isn’t necessarily triggered by any one factor, such as employment or education, but choice. Perhaps more needs to be done in these areas to promote the benefits of giving up and to outline the help and advice that is available.”
The figures showed, on average, men smoke 12 cigarettes a day and women smoke 11.
Hastings was followed in the highest female smoking rates in England by Burnley (25.5 per cent), Stevenage (24.8 per cent), and Kingston upon Hull (24.3 per cent).
In smoking rates amongst men in England, neighbouring Eastbourne was fourth highest with 28.8 per cent. The highest rate amongst men was in Rossendale, Lancashire, with 33.1 per cent.