Turning the tide on tobacco: Smoking in England hits a new low

New official statistics printed at this time present smoking prevalence in England has dipped just under 15% for the first time. That makes 6.1 million people who smoke in England, a million fewer than in 2014.

While there rightly appears to be an ever rising focus on weight problems and the nation’s eating habits we will’t neglect that smoking stays the nation’s largest killer. We’ve been tackling the devastating hurt tobacco causes for many years and at this time, we’re one step nearer to the job being finished.

Adult Smoking Habits in the UK: 2017 printed at this time by PHE and ONS exhibits that smoking prevalence in England has fallen to 14.9%. This means charges are down by nearly a quarter from 19.3% 5 years in the past  -bringing the estimated variety of people who smoke in England to 6.1 million.

Who’s nonetheless smoking?

Despite efforts to cut back inequalities, there are nonetheless teams the place smoking charges stay stubbornly excessive. Smoking amongst 18 to 24 yr olds has fallen quickest however of explicit concern is the 1.4 million 25-34 yr olds who smoke – that’s equal to at least one in 5.

We are additionally seeing an ever widening hole between individuals in routine and handbook occupations and people in managerial posts:

  • 1 in 4 individuals in routine and handbook occupations is a smoker in comparison with 1 in 10 in managerial posts
  • The odds of smoking in the routine and handbook group is greater than twice that of different employed teams
  • People who’re unemployed are nearly twice as prone to smoke as these in work

In addition, those that haven’t any are 4 instances as prone to smoke as those that have a diploma however ethnically, the image is complicated. The highest charges are amongst these born in Poland (27.4%) and people of combined race (20.5%). Over 21% of Muslim males and fewer than 4% of Muslim girls smoke. The lowest charges are amongst these born in India (5%) and people of Chinese origin (8.6%).

The giant pattern in the Annual Population Survey (APS) additionally permits pretty assured estimates of native smoking charges. Blackpool, Hastings and Kingston upon Hull proceed to be amongst the highest smoking areas with round 22-23% of adults smoking. That is properly over thrice as excessive as in Chilton.

Figure 2: Smoking prevalence by Upper Tier LA

To discover out what your native smoking price is, the way it compares with the remainder of your area and the way the impression it has on native health and companies you’ll be able to go to the Local Tobacco Profiles for England web site the place all the newest information is accessible now.

Is there nonetheless an urge for food to stop?

Also printed at this time are information from the Opinion and Lifestyles Survey (OPN). Back when the predecessor to OPN started smoking charges have been at 45%, thrice increased than they’re at this time. Now, 60% of those that report that they’ve ever smoked have stop. A staggering 11 million individuals.

The survey additionally provides us essential details about smoker behaviours and intentions. Sixty per cent of people who smoke say they intend to stop and greater than 1 in 8 report that they plan to stop in the subsequent three months. These people who smoke are considerably much less prone to have their first cigarette in the first 30 minutes after waking up, which is a key measure of tobacco dependancy, giving them a higher probability of quitting efficiently.

Are e-cigarettes nonetheless contributing to the declines?

The variety of vapers in England seems to have levelled off at slightly below 2.5 million. Most (51%) have stopped smoking and of the 45% who nonetheless smoke, half say that they’re vaping in order to quit smoking. What is extra, the quantity who’ve stop each smoking and stop vaping has reached 770,000.

Overall, this means that there are:

  • 600,000 people who smoke who vape with no plan to stop smoking;
  • 600,000 who’re vaping as a means to stop;
  • 1.2 million vapers who’ve now stop smoking;
  • and over three quarters of a million who’ve stop each.

What’s additionally attention-grabbing is that vaping is much from being a youth phenomenon as feared by many and nearly completely confined to those that have smoked. The peak ages for vaping are actually 25-34 (7.8%) and 35-49 (7.5%). Almost 1 in 8 ex-smokers vape in contrast with lower than half a % of those that have by no means smoked.


So how will we win the warfare towards tobacco?

Although there are actually 1 million fewer people who smoke than in 2014, there stay 6.1 million adults which are nonetheless topic to the devastating hurt tobacco causes.

Reducing smoking is considered one of PHE’s key priorities and we proceed to work day in and time out to help each authorities and native public health groups with a wide selection of proof, information and instruments.

Last yr’s tobacco control plan laid out the Government’s ambitions and the steps we’ll be taking to attain a smokefree nation. But we all know this requires a concerted effort to succeed in a few of society’s most susceptible individuals. We will solely obtain our ambitions if we make extra progress in serving to individuals from disadvantaged areas and folks affected by poor psychological health. Let’s take the help to the place these individuals are – coming by way of hospital doorways on a day by day foundation.

NHS settings present a nice alternative to have interaction with a lot of the tougher to succeed in people who smoke.

Many long run people who smoke will already be in poor health and be in common contact with their GPs, the NHS and wider neighborhood health companies. This will even be true for many individuals with psychological health issues and pregnant girls.

A smokefree NHS will help anybody utilizing, visiting and dealing in the NHS to stop – serving to us to succeed in that golden 5% goal and a smokefree nation.

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