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Cigarette Trends

Fact 1. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in England.

Fact 2. Tobacco use contributed to 20% of deaths in men and 12% of deaths in women aged over 35 in England in 2017.

Fact 3. In 2018, 30% of unemployed people were smokers compared with 17% employed.

How Many Adults Smoke?

The proportion of adults who smoke has fallen by 10%, from 27% in 1993 to 17% in 2018, as you can see in the graph below:

What proportion of men compared to women smoke?

While the overall trend is downwards for both men and women, the gap between the two has slightly widened by 1%, from a gap of 2% in 1993 (Men 28% Women 26%) to 3% in 2018 (Men 18% Women 15%) with proportionately fewer women than men smoking, as can be seen in the following graph:

What proportion of different age groups smoke?

While the same proportion of smokers, 32%, aged 16-24 and 25-44 smoked in 1993, there were 2% more smokers aged 25-44 in 1993 (32% in 1993, 21% in 2018) than aged 16-24 ( 32% in 1993, 19% in 2018). Further, the gap between the number of smokers aged 45-64 (26% in 1993, 18% in 2018 ) and those aged 16-24 has reduced by 5 % ( 6% in 1993, 1% in ). Therefore, although the proportion of smokers aged 16-24 has fallen by 8% since 1993, this group still smokes proportionately more than those aged 45-64. Those aged 65+ proportionately smoke the least of any group and, like those aged 16-24, this has fallen by 8% (16% in 1993, 8% in 2018), as can be seen in the following graph:

Source: The Health Survey for England 2018

Further Information

To find out the trends for alcohol addiction click here, and for the trends for drug addiction click here.

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