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Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2018

Key points

  • In the UK, 14.7% of people aged 18 years and above smoked cigarettes in 2018, which equates to around 7.2 million people in the population and represents a statistically significant decline of more than 5 percentage points since 2011, based on our estimate from the Annual Population Survey.
  • Of the constituent countries, 14.4% of adults in England smoked; for Wales, this figure was 15.9%; Scotland, 16.3% and Northern Ireland, 15.5%.
  • In the UK, 16.5% of men smoked compared with 13.0% of women.
  • Those aged 25 to 34 years had the highest proportion of current smokers (19.2%).
  • Around 1 in 4 (25.5%) people in routine and manual occupations smoked, compared with just 1 in 10 people (10.2%) in managerial and professional occupations.
  • In Great Britain, 58.4% of people aged 16 years and above who currently smoked said they wanted to quit and 61.3% of those who have ever smoked said they had quit, based on our estimates from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey.
  • In Great Britain, 6.3% of people in 2018 said they currently used an e-cigarette, which equates to approximately 3.2 million adults in the population.

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