According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the amount of smokers in 2016 went down to 15.8%, from 17.2% in 2015. From these, 15.5% are thought to reside in England, 18.1% in Northern Ireland, 17.7% in Scotland and 16.9% in Wales.
Smoking rates amongst young adults dropping the fastest
Additionally, smoking rates in young people are dropping the fastest amongst all age groups. “What is really fantastic news is that this steep decline is even greater among young adults (aged 18 to 24), where smoking has fallen by a staggering quarter since 2010, reversing a long trend.” enthused Selbie.
Tobacco Harm reduction alternatives are believed to play a major role in this steep decline, as studies have found a clear correlation between the advent of vaping products and the drop of smoking in the UK. Similarly, in Sweden impressive figures have been achieved thanks to the popularity of snus.
Sadly across the Ocean, the US is still clinging to it’s misinformed stance, despite the fact that local studies keep pointing towards the effectivity of the products as harm reduction tools. Only last week the FDA released a statement also pointing out a local decline in smoking figures, however it still refuses to acknowledge the role that vaping products are playing in this. A distortion of facts that could be preventing many from attempting the switch to the healthier alternatives and potentially save their lives.
UK maintains one of the leading positions in the fight against smoking
Thankfully the UK has taken a different approach and has fully endorsed the products for smoking cessation. “Approximately 100,000 people die needlessly from smoking-related diseases every year in our hospitals – it’s time to tackle the human and financial cost the tobacco industry creates. These statistics confirm that e-cigarettes are mainly being used to help people quit. Given half of long-term smokers die as a result of their habit, using vaping to help someone stop smoking could literally save their life,” said Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation.