The study titled, “Comparison of Trends in Self-reported Cigarette Consumption and Sales in England, 2011 to 2018,” was published in the journal Jama Network Open, and found that smokers in England are smoking 1.5bn fewer cigarettes per year, and that the average consumption has decreased by approximately 15% between 2011 and 2018.
The study indicated that the number of self-reported cigarettes smoked per month declined by 24.4%, and this was backed by reports indicating a 24.1% decrease in sales.
The team of researchers from the University College London (UCL) examined cigarette sales data, as well as the monthly self-reported cigarette use from over 135,000 participants in the Smoking Toolkit Study. The compiled data indicated that the number of self-reported cigarettes smoked per month declined by 24.4%, and this was backed by sales reports indicating a 24.1% decrease in sales.
The study authors also found that the amount of smokers during the same period dropped by 15%, indicating that those who kept on smoking were consuming less. “It’s brilliant that over a billion fewer cigarettes are being sold and smoked in England every year. Studies like this help to give us an accurate picture of cigarette consumption so we know where we’re at and what more needs to be done,” said lead study author, Dr Sarah Jackson from UCL’s tobacco and alcohol research group.
The UK keeps striving to decrease smoking rates
Meanwhile despite these positive figures, plans are underway to ensure that the UK’s smoke-free target is reached. A recent Daily Mail article had reported that leaked government plans indicate that tobacco companies will be forced to pay the cost of smoking cessation services, instead of the burden of such a cost falling on local health services.
Additionally, every cigarette packet will contain a leaflet on how to quit smoking, and ministers are also planning to crack down on cheap cigarettes found on the black market. The plan was announced via a Green Paper released by Health Secretary Matt Hancock earlier this Summer.