Smoking has killed 6.3 million people – close to the current population of London – across the UK during the past 50 years, latest figures have suggested.
The study for Cancer Research UK by Sir Richard Peto, professor of medical statistics at the University of Oxford, found that between 1950 and 2000, 42% of deaths in middle age (35-69) in men were caused by smoking, peaking in the 1960s.
Over the same period, smoking caused 16% of deaths in middle age in UK women, peaking in the late 1980s.
Smoking continues to cause proportionally more cancer deaths in Scotland than in England and Wales, said the charity.
In 2000, smoking still caused 42% of deaths among Scottish men from cancer, compared with 35% in England and Wales.
In women, smoking caused 28% of deaths from cancer in Scotland, compared with 20% in England and Wales.