UK Smokers Hit A Record Low As Britons Turn to Vaping to Help Quit
The number of tobacco cigarette smokers in Britain has hit an all time low to just 17.2% as the number of people quitting hits a historical 40 year high stated theGaurdian in a recent article. Just five years ago more than 20% of people still smoked cigarettes, but the decline began to steady and accelerate in 2015.
Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said 56.7% of those who had previously smoked successfully quit, the highest in Britain’s history since record keeping on the topic began in 1974.
The annual survey for adult smoking found that most smokers were from Northern Ireland and the biggest fall in the numbers were recorded in Scotland and Wales. Tobacco cigarette smoking remains one of the leading causes of preventable death in the UK, stated the ONS. Just in 2014 alone, 80,000 deaths were in part due to smoking related issues.
“The popularity of smoking in Great Britain has dwindled over the past 40 years,” reports the ONS. “Generally, the prevalence of smoking among the population in Great Britain has fallen and this is reflected in the data on people who have quit.”
The data gathered by the ONS also examines figures on electronic cigarettes. In 2015, 2.3 million people in Great Britain reported that they used e-cigarettes, half of this figure stated that they switched to vaping as a means to quit smoking, while 14.4% of vapers also use tobacco cigarettes.
Graph created by the dailymail.co.uk
From 2010 to 2015, the ONS’s data shows that smoking became much less common across all ages in the UK, the largest decrease coming from those in the 18-24 age bracket. Although the proportion of smokers in this age group is still higher than the average adult over 18 years of age.
“The best thing a smoker can do for their health is stop smoking,” Stated Dr. Gina Radford, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England. “There is more help and support available now than ever before…The introduction of standardized packs removes the glamorous branding and brings health warnings to the fore and e-cigarettes, which many smokers find helpful for quitting, are now regulated to assure their safety and quality.”
The figures in the data published by the ONS will support the arguments of those who feel that vaping has a big role to play in the hopes of ending the tobacco cigarette epidemic. Being that the issue is still a hugely controversial one amid public health campaigners, doctors and politicians—some of those who feel that e-cigarettes are just another ploy from the tobacco industry to make smoking socially acceptable again.
But the numbers don’t lie, the figures from the UK show that smokers have been cutting back on their tobacco smoking as average consumption is down to 11.3 cigarettes per day, the lowest they’ve been since 1974.
“The decline in smoking is very encouraging and shows that strong tobacco control measures are working.” Said Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH, “However, the government can’t leave it to individual smokers to try and quit on their own. If the downward trend is to continue we urgently need a new tobacco control plan for England, and proper funding for public health and for mass media campaigns.”