Everything that can be possibly done to reduce the number of people smoking is being done day in day out. Smoking is the number one killer of preventable diseases every year in the UK and it’s no surprise, people are finding alternative methods to kick the habit; whether it be through counselling, nicotine patches, gum or the newly founded method of vaping.
Recent information collected by The Integrated Household Survey (HIS) has identified smoking prevalence rates in the UK, looking at the use of tobacco-based cigarettes by adults aged 18 and over. New initiatives across the country have been introduced, including the recent law implemented banning drivers from smoking in a car carrying a minor. Measures across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland were launched since 2011 which has aimed to reduce the use of tobacco. The IHS however does not collect information on e-cigarettes, so figures suggesting whether smokers have switched to vaping is unidentified.
The statistics released cover January to December 2014, suggesting that in 2014, 18.3% of adults who lived in the UK were cigarette smokers. Despite a significantly large number considered ‘smokers’, the figure has gradually declined since 2010 which saw a decrease from 18.7% in 2013.
By 2014, the proportion of cigarette smokers in England was at 18%; whilst Scotland had the highest proportion of cigarette smokers, standing at 20.3%. What can be taken from these figures is an understanding that more and more people are wishing to give up smoking. Figures for Scotland show that between 2010 and 2014, there was a rapid decline from 23.8% in 2010.
It has always been a well-known that that the largest age groups attracted to smoking is 18-24 and 35-49. 2010-14 saw a large decline in cigarette smokers. It is also interesting to note that the results from 2014 show men were more likely to smoke (20.7%) over women (15.9%). What has remained consistent is the decline between both gender groups. There was a consistent decline for both men and women in the last four years.
Not only was age and gender considered and analysed but cigarette smoking by region was also investigated. It was identified that close to 20% of adults living in northern regions of the UK were more likely to smoke. This was a drastic increase from those living in London (17%) who were smokers.