Smoking in the United Kingdom (UK) - statistics & facts
Smoking tobacco is not only a bad habit but an addiction for many smokers. Smoking significantly increases health risk for numerous health disorders and preventable diseases leading to premature death. Even though the prevalence of smoking in the United Kingdom (UK) is historically at its lowest, currently 14.7 percent of Brits reported smoking regularly. In the UK, the prevalence rate of current smokers is in general higher among men in comparison to women.
The UK is regarded as a global leader in tobacco control, having implemented the WHO FTCT guidelines. Smoking rates have steadily reduced over the decades from the high rates in the 1970s and 1980s. The UK government has set itself an ambitious goal of achieving a smoke-free society by 2030. Smoking policies and laws vary between different countries in the UK. Nonetheless in 2019/20, NHS England alone recorded over 381 thousand hospital admissions for cancer which were connected to smoking. Due to this large number of admissions, conditions relating to smoking have been a large economic burden on the NHS. In England many smokers want to quit their habit. The share of individuals who set themselves a quit smoking date in 2019 was highest among those aged between 45 and 59 years.
Currently, e-cigarettes or vapes are the most popular stop smoking aids used in Great Britain, with around five percent of the population using e-cigarettes as of 2019. Over half of e-cigarette users say that they are vaping in order to stop smoking. However, it should be noted that e-cigarettes are not completely risk-free. Easing access for smoking cessation aids like nicotine replacement therapy (NTR) and prescription tablets (Varenicline and Bupropion) should assist smokers addicted to nicotine to smoothly quit smoking.
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