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The number of smokers in Britain has reached its smallest point since records began in 1974, based on new data, while over a million people say they are using e-cigarettes to help them give up smoking.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics implies that 17.2% of adults in the UK smoked in 2015, down from 20.1% during 2010.

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

The information also implies that 2.3 million individuals were best electronic vapor cigarette users in England, Scotland and Wales in 2015, about 4% of the population. Their survey also implies that 4 million more people describe themselves as former e-cigarette users. A further 2.6 million say they have got tried them but not gone onto use them regularly.

One half of the two.3 million who were current users of e-cigarettes at the time of the survey said these were carrying it out to quit 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 cheaper than buying cigarettes. Others – 9% – said they used e-cigarettes due to the fact they were permitted indoors.

The figures will bolster the arguments of those that believe e-cigarettes use a major role to experience in ending the tobacco epidemic. The issue has been hugely controversial among public health doctors and campaigners, a number of whom consider e-cigarettes to become a stalking horse for your tobacco industry which hopes to create smoking acceptable again and contains invested in vaping.

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

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

A few of the statistics suggest that it must be often the heavier smokers who consider e-cigarettes. Those that also vape smoke marginally more cigarettes daily typically than those who do not – 11.8 versus 11.3. Smokers who may have cast aside on e-cigarettes smoke 12.2 per day versus 10.6 among those who have never used an e-cigarette. Smokers that have children in your own home can also be more inclined to utilize e-cigarettes.

The ONS vaping details are from your opinions and lifestyle survey 2014-15 and relate in order to Great Britain. The ONS figures on general smoking trends include northern Ireland.

Men are more likely to smoke – 19.3% do, compared with 15.3% of women. Smoking is most frequent in the 25-34 age bracket, where 23% smoked in 2015. It really is least common in the over-65s, among whom 8.8% smoke. Nevertheless the biggest decline bhojtr 2010 has become among the 18-24 year-olds, where it provides dropped five percentage points to 20.7% in 5 years.

Figures for Great Britain also show that smokers have been cutting back on the amounts of cigarettes they consume. Average consumption is right down to 11.3 cigarettes each day, the lowest number since 1974.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH said: “The decline in smoking is extremely encouraging and demonstrates that strong tobacco control measures will work. However, the government can’t let it rest to individual smokers to try to quit on their own. If the downward trend is always to continue we urgently need to have a new tobacco control prepare for England, and proper funding for public health insurance and for mass media campaigns. That’s essential in the event the prime minister is to fulfill her promise to tackle health and social inequality.”

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