According to a new study by scientists from University College London shows the number of people who smoke cigarettes in England has dropped to its lowest level in nearly 80 years.
The data comes from a national study that has been surveying the smoking habits of people in England going back to 2006.
According to the study’s results in 2013 less than 20 per cent of adults were smokers. It’s very encouraging to see this snapshot of the number of smokers in England. Reassuringly, the figures are going down but it’s vital to remember the many millions of people who remain addicted to a lethal product. Half of all long-term users will die from smoking.” Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s head of tobacco policy, said.
Last year over 22,000 people over the age of 16 were polled and the percentage of smokers found was less than 20 per cent.
In the 20th century, there was a rapid increase in smoking rates which peaked just before the publication of a report which linked smoking and lung cancer in 1962. At that point nearly 70 per cent of males and 40 per cent of females were smokers.
The new data was published during the same week that legislation was passed in the UK to allow the introduction of plain standardized packaging.
“Reducing the numbers who smoke and the number of young people who start smoking must remain a focus. Plain, standardised packaging is key to protecting children from tobacco marketing. This week’s votes in parliament showed unprecedented support for tobacco control measures that will protect children from tobacco marketing and from second hand smoke. We urge the government to take the next steps to make standard packaging a reality as soon as possible.” Ms. Cox added
Smoking tobacco causes an estimated 60,000 cases of cancer in the UK each year and is responsible for approximately one in four cancer deaths in the UK.