GB smoking rates stalling: need for more investment in tobacco control



18 February 2016.  Statistics released today suggest that the decline in smoking among adults in Great Britain may be stalling, particularly among women.  Overall, in 2014 19% of adults were smokers, the same figure as in 2013. While rates fell among men, there was no change among women.

The survey also included data on use of electronic cigarettes which shows that people are using them primarily as an aid to quitting smoking.

Commenting on the report, Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of health charity ASH said:

“The slowdown in smoking rates is worrying. The evidence is clear that if we are to continue to drive down smoking we need a comprehensive tobacco control policy that includes mass media campaigns and help for smokers who want to quit.  We urge the Government to publish a new tobacco control strategy as soon as possible.

“The results on electronic cigarettes show that the majority of users are smokers who are using them to quit smoking.  This is encouraging as e-cigarettes are far safer than tobacco products and using them as a quitting aid will significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer caused by smoking.”  

ENDS

Notes and Links:

[1]  Adult smoking habits in Great Britain, 2014. OPN statistical bulletin.

[2]  Further information on e-cigarettes.