Data from the national office of statistics have shown that deaths from lung conditions and asthma are higher in Britain than any other European country due to high smoking rates.
Experts said that some Eastern European countries may now have higher smoking rates than in Britain but this is relatively recent and that the consequences are not yet apparent.
In the UK, 88 men per 100,000 die from respiratory conditions such as flu, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. This compares to an average of 63 deaths per 100,000 men in Europe.
UK rates for women were 64 deaths per 100,000 people, compared with 33 per 100,000 people in Europe.
Professor Stephen Spiro, spokesperson for the British Lung Foundation, said: “The results in this report about respiratory disease are unsurprising as unfortunately deaths due to lung diseases including COPD, lung cancer, and respiratory infection such as pneumonia, are extremely high in the UK.”
The data reflect the extremely high smoking rate in the UK and the length of time that people have smoked. The statistics are very worrying and highlight the need to reduce the number of smokers and improve respiratory outcomes.