SMOKERS are being encouraged to try other means of quitting the habit rather than going ‘cold turkey’.
Public Health England said just stopping without other aids was the least effective way.
A report produced by the health body said a misunderstanding of the harmfulness of nicotine-containing products may be linked to inaccurate and confused perception of its risks.
Four in 10 smokers and ex-smokers incorrectly think nicotine in cigarettes is the cause of most of the smoking-related cancer.
In Portsmouth, there are 336 smoke-related deaths per 100,000 people. This is higher than the Hampshire average of 212 deaths and the national average of 272 deaths.
Jason Mahoney, from Public Health England, said: ‘Misunderstanding about nicotine risks may be deterring smokers from using quit aids.
‘Nicotine is addictive but it’s the many thousands of chemicals in tobacco smoke that are responsible for almost all of the harm caused by smoking.’