The number of smokers in Britain has reached its lowest point since records began in 1974, in accordance with new data, while more than a million people say they are using e-cigarettes to help them give up smoking.

The newest data from the Office for National Statistics shows that 17.2% of adults in the UK smoked in 2015, down from 20.1% in 2010.

Smoking levels are highest in Scotland, at 19.1%, then Northern Ireland, where it really is 19%, Wales on 18.1% and England on 16.9%. The numbers have already been dropping fastest lately in Scotland and Wales. Among local authorities, Blackpool is the only one to feature consistently inside the 10 heaviest smoking areas between 2012 and 2015. In 2015, 25.3% of adults in Blackpool smoked.

The data also demonstrates that 2.3 million individuals were vapor cigarettes users in England, Scotland and Wales in 2015, about 4% from the population. Their survey also implies that 4 million more people describe themselves as former electronic cigarette users. An additional 2.6 million say they have got tried them although not gone onto utilize them regularly.

Half of the 2.3 million who were current users of e-cigarettes during the time of the survey said these people were doing it to give up smoking. An additional 22% said these people were vaping because it was less harmful than smoking. Only 10% said they decided to vape because it was less expensive than buying cigarettes. Others – 9% – said they used e-cigarettes due to the fact these were permitted indoors.

The figures will bolster the arguments of those who believe e-cigarettes have a major role to try out in ending the tobacco epidemic. The issue continues to be hugely controversial among public health doctors and campaigners, a number of whom consider e-cigarettes to become a stalking horse for that tobacco industry which hopes to make smoking acceptable again and contains committed to vaping.

The Entire World Health Organisation has expressed concern over e-cigarettes, but Public Health England has said vaping might be 95% safer than smoking tobacco.

50 % of current smokers say they have tried e-cigarettes, and 14.4% of current smokers also vape.

A few of the statistics suggest that it must be usually the heavier smokers who consider e-cigarettes. Those who also vape smoke marginally more cigarettes daily normally as opposed to those who do not – 11.8 versus 11.3. Smokers who may have given up on e-cigarettes smoke 12.2 each day versus 10.6 among anyone who has never used an electronic cigarette. Smokers who have children in your own home will also be more inclined to use e-cigarettes.

The ONS vaping details are through the opinions and lifestyle survey 2014-15 and relate in order to Great Britain. The ONS figures on general smoking trends include northern Ireland.

Men are more inclined to smoke – 19.3% do, in contrast to 15.3% of women. Smoking is most typical in the 25-34 age group, where 23% smoked in 2015. It is least common inside the over-65s, among whom 8.8% smoke. But the biggest decline bhojtr 2010 continues to be one of the 18-24 year-olds, where it provides dropped five percentage points to 20.7% in five-years.

Figures for excellent Britain also show that smokers happen to be cutting back on the quantities of cigarettes they consume. Average consumption is right down to 11.3 cigarettes daily, the best number since 1974.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH said: “The decline in smoking is very encouraging and shows that strong tobacco control measures work. However, the government can’t let it sit to individual smokers to attempt to quit by themselves. In the event the downward trend would be to continue we urgently require a new tobacco control prepare for England, and proper funding for public health and for mass media campaigns. That’s essential if the prime minister is to meet her promise to tackle health and social inequality.”