The number of smokers in great britan has reached its lowest point since records began in 1974, based on new data, while more than a million people say they are using e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking.

The most recent data through the Office for National Statistics demonstrates 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 is actually 19%, Wales on 18.1% and England on 16.9%. The numbers happen to be dropping fastest in recent years in Scotland and Wales. Among local authorities, Blackpool is the only one to feature consistently in the 10 heaviest smoking areas between 2012 and 2015. In 2015, 25.3% of adults in Blackpool smoked.

The information also implies that 2.3 million everyone was free vapor cigarettes users in England, Scotland and Wales in 2015, about 4% of the population. Their survey also shows that 4 million more and more people describe themselves as former e-cigarette users. A further 2.6 million say they have got tried them but not gone on to make use of 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 performing it to quit smoking. A further 22% said they were vaping because it was less harmful than smoking. Only 10% said they chose to vape since it was cheaper than buying cigarettes. Others – 9% – said they used e-cigarettes primarily because they were permitted indoors.

The figures will bolster the arguments of people who believe e-cigarettes have a major role to experience in ending the tobacco epidemic. The issue has become hugely controversial among public health doctors and campaigners, some of whom consider e-cigarettes as a stalking horse for that tobacco industry which hopes to make smoking acceptable again and has invested in vaping.

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

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

A few of the statistics suggest that it is frequently the heavier smokers who choose e-cigarettes. Those that also vape smoke marginally more cigarettes each day typically than those that do not – 11.8 versus 11.3. Smokers that have given up on e-cigarettes smoke 12.2 each day versus 10.6 among anyone who has never used an e-cigarette. Smokers who may have children at home are also very likely to make use of e-cigarettes.

The ONS vaping information is through the opinions and lifestyle survey 2014-15 and relate simply to Great Britain. The ONS figures on general smoking trends include northern Ireland.

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

Figures for Great Britain also reveal that smokers have been cutting back on the numbers of cigarettes they consume. Average consumption is right down to 11.3 cigarettes each day, the lowest number since 1974.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH said: “The decline in smoking is very encouraging and demonstrates that strong tobacco control measures will work. However, the government can’t leave it to individual smokers to try and quit on their own. When the downward trend is to continue we urgently need to have a new tobacco control plan for England, and proper funding for public health and for mass media campaigns. That’s essential when the prime minister is to fulfill her promise to tackle health and social inequality.”