§ 37. Sir John Wells
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why smoking is not listed as one of the recognised underlying causes of death for purposes of completing death certificates when ailments caused by smoking are among the recognised immediate causes of death.
§ Mr. John Patten
There is no official list of recognised underlying causes of death, and a certifying doctor may enter smoking as an underlying cause if he wishes. It must, of course, be borne in mind that although studies on groups of subjects indicate a causal relationship between smoking and certain diseases, this does not mean that when an individual smoker dies from one of these diseases, the smoking was necessarily the underlying cause of the disease.