Smoking Habits In The UK & Ireland Data

Recently statistics showing the smoking habits in the UK and Ireland have been published.

The ONS (Office of National Statistics) has published the “Adult Smoking Habits in the UK:2021” bulletin.

The data includes the numbers of smokers and vapers and the demographics of those involved.

Data was collected by the ONS using the APS (Annual Population Surveys) and the OPN (Opinions & Lifestyle Survey).

The findings were as follows…

·In the UK in 2021 13.3% of people over 18 years and over smoked cigarettes – 6.6m. This apparently is the lowest proportion recorded since 2011 when records started.
·Highest proportion of smokers was Scotland (14.8%) and the lowest was in England (13%). Wales was 14.1% and Northern Ireland was 13.8%.

·15.1% of men smoked compared to 11.5% of women.
·The highest proportion of smokers was found in the 25-34 year old band at 15.8%. The lowest was the 65 and over band at 8%.

7.7% aged 16 or over said they currently used an e-cigarette daily or occasionally. This figure equates to around 4 million – an increase compared to the 6.4% of 2020.

I think some of the drop in smoking rates could be down to the availability of Alternative Nicotine Products as stated by James Tucker – Data and Analysis for Social Care and Health Division of the ONS…

“The decrease in the proportion of current smokers may be partly attributed to the increase in vaping and e-cigarette use. Data from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) have shown regular use of a vaping device has increased in 2021 and the highest usage was among those aged 16 to 24 years.”

The Healthy Ireland Survey is an annual survey conducted with a representative sample of the population aged over 15 and living in Ireland.

The sample size is around 7,500 people and is conducted by Ipsos MRBI.

The results from the 2022 survey have been published.

There is a lot of data in this report – 64 pages to be exact so I will just concentrate on the Smoking and Vaping related information.

·18% of the population are current smokers. 14% smoke daily and 4% occasionally.

25-34 year olds were the age group most likely to smoke.

·46% of all who smoked in the last 12 months have attempted to quit. 23% of those were successful. 22% of the successful quitters used e-cigarettes as a quitting aid, 66% used willpower alone and 10% used NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy).
·3% of the population use e-cigarettes and another 3% report using them in the past but not current vapers.
·Usage of e-cigarettes is the highest in the under 25 year old category with 6% current vapers.
·6% of daily smokers and 16% of occasional smokers used e-cigarettes.

The status of vaping in Ireland is looking precarious at the moment with the authorities taking guidance from the Anti Vaping WHO (World Health Organisation).

It looks as though overall smoking rates are declining but have increased since 2019 for some reason. Sadly vaping rates have decreased from the 5% reported in 2019 to the 3% current vapers in 2022. These two figures must be related.

Ireland really needs to look into its Tobacco Control policies if it wants to achieve any kind of smoke free ambition.