The National Bureau of Statistics recently released a report on tobacco use in the UK in 2019, with the participation of the Department of public health.
The core contents of the report are as follows:
1. In the UK, 14.1% of people aged 18 and over smoked in 2019, equivalent to about 6.9 million. Since 2018, the current proportion of smokers in the UK has dropped significantly to 14.1%, when the smoking rate was 14.7%, and has continued to decline since 2011.
2. In the national composition, 13.9% of adults in England smoke, 15.5% in Wales, 15.4% in Scotland and 15.6% in Northern Ireland.
3. In the UK, the smoking rate is 15.9% for men and 12.5% for women.
4. Among those aged between 25 and 34, the current proportion of smokers is the highest, about 19%.
5. In the UK, about a quarter (23.4%) of manual workers smoke, which is 2.5 times higher than that of smokers in managerial and professional occupations (9.3%).
6. In the UK, it is estimated that more than half (52.7%) of people aged 16 and above who currently smoke say they want to quit, while 62.5% of those who have ever smoked say they have.
7. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the UK. Between 2016 and 2018, 77600 people died of smoking each year in England. Smoking kills more than 5000 people a year in Wales, 10000 in Scotland and 2300 in Northern Ireland each year. Exposure to second-hand smoke (passive smoking) can lead to a variety of diseases, many of which are fatal. Children are particularly vulnerable to passive smoking.
8. In the UK, 5.7% of respondents in 2019 said they currently use e-cigarettes, equivalent to nearly 3 million adults using e-cigarettes.
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The report shows that smokers in the UK are increasingly using e-cigarettes to help quit smoking.
In a recent review of evidence, UK public health found that e-smoking accounted for only a small part of the risk of smoking, and when e-cigarettes were used as part of an attempt to quit smoking, the success rate was comparable to or higher than the use of licensed drugs alone.
The Welsh government also reported that the most common reason for using e-cigarettes is to help stop smoking, accounting for 76% of current users.
In 2019, 5.7% of respondents reported that they currently use e-cigarettes, which is equivalent to nearly 3 million people in the total population.
This proportion is significantly higher than the observation at the beginning of data collection in 2014, when only 3.7% of the data were collected.
Although the proportion of men using e-cigarettes reported in 2019 (6.1%) is higher than that of women (5.4%), this is the first year since data collection began in 2014, and the proportion of men using e-cigarettes has decreased (down from 7.7% in 2017).
In terms of age, users aged between 25 and 34 used the highest proportion of e-cigarettes, accounting for 9.2%.
Half of smokers use e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking.
In 2019, the proportion of e-cigarette users is the highest among current cigarette smokers (15.5%) and former cigarette smokers (11.7%).
According to the data, only 0.4% of people who have never smoked reported that they are currently smoking e-cigarettes. This shows that the majority of e-cigarette users in the UK are adult cigarette users, and e-cigarettes have not triggered large-scale non cigarette users.
In the UK, the most common reason for smoking e-cigarettes is as an adjunct to quitting smoking, and about half (50.6%) of smokers reported using e-cigarettes for this purpose in 2019.