The proportion of current adult smokers in the UK has continued to decline since 1974. In 2019, prevalence of smoking in the UK was 14.1%.
Smoking prevalence is marginally higher among men (15.9%) versus women (12.5%).
Smoking prevalence is highest (19.0%) among those between 25 to 34 years.
Northern Ireland has the highest proportion of cigarettes smokers (15.6%), while England has the lowest proportion of cigarettes smokers (13.9%). The proportion of cigarette smokers in Scotland and Wales are 15.4% and 15.5% respectively.
62.5% of those in Great Britain who have ‘ever smoked’ cigarettes had quit as of 2019, which is significantly higher than 26.7% as of 1974.
In 2019, the proportion of current e-cigarette users in Great Britain was 5.7% (considerably higher than the 3.7% reported in 2014 when data collection began).
In 2020, 27.2% of adults used vaping products in a quit attempt in the previous 12 months, compared to 15.5% using NRT.
Proportion of current smokers, all persons aged 16 years and over uk 1974 - 2020
A report by the International Longevity Centre UK showed that “if current/ex-smokers had never smoked, the difference in the equivalent rates of economic activity would boost the UK economy by £19.1 billion a year or 1.9% of earnings.”
UK signed and ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in 2004. Since then, the UK is considered to have ‘completed’ measures linked to monitoring tobacco use, developing health warnings, mass media, taxation and smoke-free environments and has ‘moderately’ completed measures for cessation programs and advertising bans.