Smoking Statistics in UK

  • In 1948, cigarette smoking became increasingly prevalent. That year an estimated 82% of British men were reported as being addicted to some form of tobacco smoking or the other while 65% preferred smoking cigarettes.
  • The change came forth in the smoking scene in 1970, when the number of cigarette smokers reportedly declined to 55%.
  • Since 1970, there has been a steady fall in the percentage of smokers in UK and this continued till the mid-1990s. However, the declining rate slowed up significantly post 2000 and in 2007, upto 20% of the adult male population was reported to be addicted to cigarette smoking.  
  • The adult smoking population of UK is around 13 million, out of which 25% are women and 29% are men. While half of the adult population was trapped in this addiction back in 1974, today, its heartening to know that only a little more than a quarter of the population is addicted to smoking.
  • Decline in smoking has been witnessed in the recent years but more so amongst the older age groups. While it’s a concern that the younger population is indulging more in this addictive habit, the good part is that the established smokers are now making an attempt to either reduce or completely rid themselves of the addiction.
  • The men and women within the age group of 20 to 34 are more involved in this addictive practice. Older age groups i.e. people over 60 years of age have the lowest smoking rate. Only 16% of these elderly citizens are smokers.

smoking statistics by age

  • Again, 13% of the women and 15% of the men belonging to the professional class smoke while as much as 34% of the women population and 39% of the male population belonging to the unskilled manual socio-economic class are smokers.
    smoking statistics by class
  • While yet to make an impactful change in the overall percentage of smokers in UK(due to new smokers), it is good to note that 27% of the men and 20% of the women who were addicted to smoking quit the habit in the last 4 years, this suggests that the wind of positive change has indeed started to blow. If the surveys done are correct, 70% of the current smoking population will quit the nasty act completely in the next few years.
  • In the UK, Scotland has recorded the highest number of smokers. In 2009, the percentage of smokers was estimated to be 25% in Scotland while Wales and England were estimated to have 23% and 21% of smokers respectively.
  • The rates of smoking vary significantly amongst the various ethnic groups inhabiting Britain.  According to some reports generated in 2004, the rate of smoking amongst the ethnic Indians and Bangladeshis varied from 20 to 40 percent, as against the 24% national range. While only 2% of the Bangladeshi women population were smokers, the percentage of women smokers in the Irish population was 26% when compared to the 23% national average.
  • Irish and Bangladeshi men found to be more vulnerable to the addiction when compared to the general male population. On the other hand, Indian men living in UK were found to be less vulnerable. Interestingly, for the same, no women from the female minority ethnic population was vulnerable to smoking when compare to the general UK female population. The Chinese, African and South Asian females were less likely to indulge in the addictive act.
  • UK, like its western counterparts seem to be shedding the addiction at a much better pace than several other nations of the world. It is currently in the fourth stage of the epidemic and the prevalence of smoking here is below the level of 30% as against upto 50% in Asia. 


Alarming Facts About Smoking

  • In the UK alone, around 120,000 people die of smoking addiction each year.
  • Smoking has emerged to be more brutal and six times more powerful a killer than the road traffic accidents, homicide, suicide and HIV infection.
  • Smokers are 40 times more susceptible to lung cancer compared to non smokers.
  • Chain smokers have 17 times higher risk of heart diseases.
  • Smokers  are  very susceptible to acute emphysema and bronchitis. Smokers cough is prevalent in almost all chain smokers.


Smoking Facts - What happens when a smoker stops smoking?

When a smoker stops smoking, he starts to reap the benefits both at the health and psychological levels. Infact some smokers experience benefits within the first 3 days itself and the benefits further trsnslate to many more benefits as one's body begins to age. For a timeline based explanation you may visit benefits of stopping smoking