In England the total number of cigarettes smoked annually has declined by over a billion according to the latest research from Cancer Research UK. The charity says the average number of cigarettes smoked between 2011 and 2018 fell by 118 million a month. The latest data suggests that just 16 per cent of adults in the UK now smoke and Cancer Research UK says the data shows that smoking trends are heading in the right direction.
The government recently made the pledge for the habit to be completely eliminated by 2030 as part of a series of measures to deal with causes of preventable diseases. This particular study was undertaken by University College London who examined sales data for cigarettes as well as collected information from 135,000 men and women who participated in the Smoking Toolkit Study. This is a monthly study that collects data on the smoking habits of people.
Consumption has dramatically declined
According to the analysis, the average number of cigarettes smoked every month fell by over 26 per cent during the time period studied, falling from approximately 3.4 billion a month to 2.5 billion. The charity says the decline in cigarette consumption nationally has been dramatic and is well in excess of the fall in the prevalence of smoking. That figure over the same time frame stood at around 15 per cent.
Job not done
This means not only are less people smoking, but those that continue with the habit are also smoking less. A spokesperson for Cancer Research UK adds that whilst the tobacco industry claimed the introduction of stricter regulation would not work and actively lobbied against those regulation, the data is proof that smoking trends are in fact headed in the right direction. Smoking continues to be the main preventable cause of cancer with certain social groups having higher rates of smoking. These include manual and routine workers. This means we cannot stop now and believe the job is complete.