SOCIAL care for cigarette smokers is costing taxpayers in the county of Dorset £6.3 million a year, it has been calculated.

A further £5.3 million is paid by the families or individuals in the county who self-fund private care.

The figures were arrived at by e-cigarette company Vapourcore, using the 'Ready Reckoner' tool created by the anti-smoking organisation ASH.

Using the ASH tool it is calculated that social care, for current and former smokers, costs England £1.4 billion a year.

The county with the lowest social care cost attributed to smoking is Buckinghamshire, at £9.7m.

The county with the greatest social care cost attributed to smoking is Greater Manchester, at £79.3m. In Hampshire the overall cost is £32.9 million.

The figures coincide with new statistics from NHS Digital, showing that nearly 15 per cent of adults in England are classified as current smokers.

They also come in the week that leaked documents show that the government appears to be planning to eliminate smoking from Britain by 2030 and forcing tobacco companies, rather than health providers, to cover the cost of helping people quit the habit.