Regular smoking in young people on decline in England

Annual surveys conducted amongst young people in the UK found that regular smoking is at a record low in its most recent figures.

12 000 secondary pupils from 177 schools around England are surveyed are on a regular basis.

Although the latest survey found a similar percentage (19%) of 11-15 year-olds saying that they have tried cigarettes, a massive decline from nearly 49% in 1996.  Only 3% polled this time around said that they were regular smokers. This is a decline from 2014’s figures.

Half of those who cited having tried cigarettes said it didn’t go any further whereas the other half was split pretty evenly between regular, occasional and previous smokers.

The decline can most likely be attributed to a mix of elements ranging from an increase in tobacco taxes, the change in legal age to buy cigarettes from 16 to 18, a ban on smoking in public places and mandatory health warnings on cigarette packets. Figures also see levels of current and regular usage of e-cigarettes on the increase from 22% to 25% since 2014.

Cancer Research UK is delighted to see that less teens are developing the harmful habit, but feels like efforts to deter smoking in young people should continue. The foundation’s goal is to have a smoke-free generation in the not too distant future.

Even though some have expressed concern over the possibility that e-cigarettes will lead to teens taking up smoking, research have shown that this is not the case.

You can read the full report here.