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The number of smokers in great britan has reached its lowest point since records began in 1974, according to new data, while more than a million people say they are using e-cigarettes to help them stop smoking.

The latest data through the Office for National Statistics shows that 17.2% of adults in the united kingdom smoked in 2015, down from 20.1% during 2010.

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

The data also demonstrates that 2.3 million individuals were vapor e cig users in England, Scotland and Wales in 2015, about 4% from the population. Their survey also demonstrates that 4 million more and more people describe themselves as former electronic cigarette users. An additional 2.6 million say they have tried them although not gone on to use them regularly.

50 % of the two.3 million who have been current users of e-cigarettes during the survey said these were doing it to stop smoking. A further 22% said these were vaping because it was less harmful than smoking. Only 10% said they decided to vape as 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 play in ending the tobacco epidemic. The matter has been hugely controversial among public health doctors and campaigners, some of whom consider e-cigarettes to become a stalking horse for that tobacco industry which hopes to help make smoking acceptable again and contains committed to vaping.

The Planet Health Organisation has expressed concern over e-cigarettes, but Public Health England has said vaping could 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.

Some of the statistics suggest that it is often the heavier smokers who turn to e-cigarettes. Those that also vape smoke marginally more cigarettes each day typically than those that do not – 11.8 versus 11.3. Smokers who may have abandoned on e-cigarettes smoke 12.2 daily versus 10.6 among individuals who have never used an electronic cigarette. Smokers who may have children in the home are also very likely to utilize e-cigarettes.

The ONS vaping data is from the opinions and lifestyle survey 2014-15 and relate just to Great Britain. The ONS figures on general smoking trends include northern Ireland.

Men are more inclined to smoke – 19.3% do, in contrast to 15.3% of women. Smoking is most typical within the 25-34 age bracket, where 23% smoked in 2015. It is least common inside the over-65s, among whom 8.8% smoke. But the biggest decline bhojtr 2010 continues to be amongst the 18-24 year-olds, where it offers dropped five percentage points to 20.7% in five-years.

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

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH said: “The decline in smoking is extremely encouraging and implies that strong tobacco control measures are working. However, the federal government can’t leave it to individual smokers to attempt to quit on their own. If the downward trend would be to continue we urgently need a new tobacco control plan for England, and proper funding for public health insurance and for mass media campaigns. That’s essential if the prime minister would be to live up to her promise to tackle health and social inequality.”

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