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The number of smokers in Britain 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 stop smoking.

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

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

The information also shows 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 demonstrates that 4 million many people describe themselves as former electronic cigarette users. An additional 2.6 million say they have tried them but not gone to utilize them regularly.

Half of the 2.3 million who were current users of e-cigarettes during the time of the survey said these were doing it to stop smoking. Another 22% said these people were vaping since it was less harmful than smoking. Only 10% said they chose to vape because it was less than buying cigarettes. Others – 9% – said they used e-cigarettes mainly because they were permitted indoors.

The figures will bolster the arguments of those who believe e-cigarettes use a major role to play in ending the tobacco epidemic. The matter continues to be hugely controversial among public health doctors and campaigners, a few of whom consider e-cigarettes to become a stalking horse for your tobacco industry which hopes to make smoking acceptable again and has 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.

50 % of current smokers say they may have tried e-cigarettes, and 14.4% of current smokers also vape.

A few of the statistics suggest that it must be frequently the heavier smokers who consider e-cigarettes. Those who also vape smoke marginally more cigarettes daily typically as opposed to those who do not – 11.8 versus 11.3. Smokers that have abandoned on e-cigarettes smoke 12.2 per day versus 10.6 among individuals who have never used an e-cigarette. Smokers that have children in the home are also more inclined to utilize 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 are more inclined to smoke – 19.3% do, in comparison with 15.3% of ladies. Smoking is most frequent inside 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 bhojtr 2010 continues to be among the 18-24 year-olds, where it provides dropped five percentage points to 20.7% in five years.

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

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH said: “The decline in smoking is quite encouraging and implies that strong tobacco control measures work. However, the government can’t leave it to individual smokers to try to quit by themselves. If the downward trend is to continue we urgently require a new tobacco control prepare for England, and proper funding for public health insurance and for mass media campaigns. That’s essential if the prime minister would be to meet her promise to tackle health and social inequality.”

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