The number of smokers in great britan has reached its lowest point since records began in 1974, in accordance with new data, while more than a million people say they are using e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking.

The newest data through the Office for National Statistics shows that 17.2% of adults in the united kingdom smoked in 2015, down from 20.1% in 2010.

Smoking levels are highest in Scotland, at 19.1%, then Northern Ireland, where it is 19%, Wales on 18.1% and England on 16.9%. The numbers have been dropping fastest in recent years in Scotland and Wales. Among local authorities, Blackpool is the only one to feature consistently in the 10 heaviest smoking areas between 2012 and 2015. In 2015, 25.3% of adults in Blackpool smoked.

The data also demonstrates that 2.3 million individuals were E Cig users in England, Scotland and Wales in 2015, about 4% from the population. Their survey also shows that 4 million more people describe themselves as former electronic cigarette users. Another 2.6 million say they have tried them although not gone to use them regularly.

One half of the 2.3 million who have been current users of e-cigarettes during the time of the survey said they were doing it to give up smoking. A further 22% said they were vaping since it was less harmful than smoking. Only 10% said they decided to vape since it was less than buying cigarettes. Others – 9% – said they used e-cigarettes mainly because these people were permitted indoors.

The figures will bolster the arguments of people who believe e-cigarettes possess a major role to play in ending the tobacco epidemic. The issue has become hugely controversial among public health doctors and campaigners, a number of whom consider e-cigarettes to become a stalking horse for the tobacco industry which hopes to help make smoking acceptable again and it has invested in vaping.

The Entire World Health Organisation has expressed concern over e-cigarettes, but Public Health England has said vaping could be 95% safer than smoking tobacco.

One half of current smokers say they have got tried e-cigarettes, and 14.4% of current smokers also vape.

A number of the statistics suggest that it must be often the heavier smokers who choose e-cigarettes. Those who also vape smoke marginally more cigarettes per day on average as opposed to those that do not – 11.8 versus 11.3. Smokers who have abandoned on e-cigarettes smoke 12.2 each day versus 10.6 among anyone who has never used an e-cigarette. Smokers who have children in your own home are also very likely to make use of e-cigarettes.

The ONS vaping data is from the opinions and lifestyle survey 2014-15 and relate simply to Great Britain. The ONS figures on general smoking trends include northern Ireland.

Men will probably smoke – 19.3% do, in comparison with 15.3% of females. Smoking is most typical within the 25-34 age group, where 23% smoked in 2015. It is least common within the over-65s, among whom 8.8% smoke. Nevertheless the biggest decline since 2010 has been among the 18-24 year-olds, where it has dropped five percentage points to 20.7% in five-years.

Figures for Great Britain also show that smokers happen to be cutting back on the numbers of cigarettes they consume. Average consumption is as a result of 11.3 cigarettes per day, the cheapest number since 1974.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH said: “The decline in smoking is quite encouraging and demonstrates that strong tobacco control measures work. However, the us government can’t leave it to individual smokers to cxjoon to give up by themselves. In the event the downward trend is to continue we urgently need to have a new tobacco control arrange for England, and proper funding for public health insurance and for mass media campaigns. That’s essential if the prime minister is always to live up to her promise to tackle health insurance and social inequality.”

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