Smoking prevalence in England has fallen to 14.9 per cent, compared to 15.5 per cent last year, according to Adult Smoking Habits in the UK: 2017 from Public Health England and the Office of National Statistics. This brings the estimated number of smokers in England to 6.1 million.

In the last five years, smoking rates are down from 19.3 per cent, but large inequalities still remain. One in four people in routine and manual occupations is a smoker compared to one in 10 in managerial and professional posts.

There are also large geographical differences; Blackpool, Hastings and Kingston upon Hull continue to be the areas with the highest number of smokers, with around 22-23 per cent of adults still puffing away.

Smoking also remains stubbornly high in the 25-34 age group, where one in five people still smoke.

The number of vapers in England appears to have levelled off at just under 2.5 million. Most (51 per cent) have stopped smoking, and of the 45 per cent who still smoke, half say that they are vaping in order to stop smoking.

What’s also interesting is that vaping is far from being a youth phenomenon as feared by many and almost entirely confined to those who have smoked.

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