decline in smoking rates - united kingdom

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has just released new data from a recent survey showing a further decline in the number of adult UK smokers. Thanks to the ever increasing amount of people switching from tobacco smoking to vaping, the rate will continue to drop.

Here’s a breakdown of the survey:

  • Currently there are around 7.6 million adults in the UK that are tobacco smokers.
  • Over half a million people successfully gave up tobacco smoking in 2016
  • Smokers by region: 15.5% of adults in England, 16.9% of adults in Wales, 17.7% of adults in Scotland and 18.1% of adults in Northern Ireland.
  • There are a higher percentage of Male smokers, 17.7% of men and 14.1% of women.
  • 18 to 24 year olds experienced the biggest decline in smoking, dropping 6.5% since 2010.
  • 5.6% of those surveyed said they are currently use an e-cigarette, which equates to 2.9 million vapers in the UK.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, commented on the release of the new data by saying: “It’s now hard to believe that back in 1974 almost half of adults smoked, but now an end really is in sight and we have a real opportunity to virtually eliminate all the harm, misery and death caused by smoking. What is really fantastic news is that this steep decline is even greater among young adults, where smoking has fallen by a staggering quarter since 2010, reversing a long trend.”

The data for 2017 will be interesting, we will get to see if the new TPD regulations have affected the number of vapers and/or number of people quitting smoking. The limit on the nicotine strength specifically has been widely criticised by industry and health experts, as heavy smokers can not get enough nicotine to curb their smoking habit.

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