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England: Smoking rate continues to decrease while vaping gains in popularity

The last Public Health England's number is 16.9% smokers, reports BBC News on September 20. A success to which contributed the e-cigarette that has been predominantly elected as a weaning method by two out of three quitters, in 2015.


Smoking rates are in free fall in the UK, with almost one point gained against tobacco from one year to the other, over the last decade. The last official number for the year 2015 is 16.9% smokers, against 17.8% in 2014 and 19.2% in 2012.

Ex-smokers may outnumber smokers in the near future

In 2015, 2.5 million smokers tried to kick the habit and one out of five was successful at joining the 14.6 million ex-smokers in the country. For Public Health England, quitting rate is one of the highest, to date. And the reason for this success, according to the experts, is the increasing popularity of the e-cigarette.

E-cigarettes, more popular than NRTs among smokers

Compared to the 700,000 smokers who used a licensed nicotine replacement method in their attempt to stop smoking, more than a million people said they used an e-cigarette. By the way, their sales have increased as the prescriptions of NRTs decreased (1.3 million in 2014/15). Maybe a sign that the e-cigarette, despite alarming headlines in newspapers, retains public’s faith?

“The reduction in smoking rates isn’t the result of a single magic bullet but concerted policies over decades.”Rosanna O'Connor, PHE's director of drugs, alcohol, tobacco
Source: PHE
Source: PHE

With the forthcoming smoking national smoking cessation campaign, Stoptober 2016, PHE aims are supporting the remaining 7.2 million adults who smoke to complete cessation during 28 days in October 2016. Over 78,000 deaths, in England, are attributable to tobacco and, according to Prof Kevin Fenton, PHE’s national director of health and wellbeing.

“Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do for your heart health. By giving up smoking you’ll be dramatically reducing your chances of having a potentially deadly heart attack or stroke.”Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director - British Heart Foundation

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