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Smoking rates plummet to 10-year low, thanks partly to vaping, says UK

A new report from Cancer Research UK shows that cigarette sales are on the decline, smoking rates are plummeting, and public health officials are crediting vaping as a major contributing factor.  About 15.5 percent of Brits now smoke, or about one in six people, which is down from 17.2 percent only two short years ago.  And to add fuel to the fire of the vaping-as-a-gateway conspiracy theory, smoking among the 18 to 24 crowd has dropped from 26 percent in 2010 to just 19 percent in 2016 and falling.

According to a September 21 press release, Cancer Research UK also claims that the rates of success for quitting smoking over the past ten years are soaring to astronomical highs.  In the first 6 months of 2017, 19.8 percent of those surveyed had successful quit smoking compared to only 15.7 percent over the prior 10-years.  And according to an agency spokesperson, the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes is directly responsible.

“Research has shown that e-cigarettes are the most popular way to quit.  The evidence so far tells us they’re much safer than smoking, and are helping many people to beat their addiction.” 
- George Butterworth, Tobacco Policy Manager for Cancer Research UK

In fact, Brits are quitting smoking in such record numbers that England is now boasts the second-lowest smoking rate per capita in all of Europe.  Sweden is at the top.  When interviewed by the British newspaper The Guardian, a spokesperson for Public Health England boasts that more than half a million Brits have quit smoking in the UK in just the past two years alone. 

“It’s now hard to believe that back in 1974 almost half of adults smoked. But now an end really is in sight and we have a real opportunity to virtually eliminate all the harm, misery and death caused by smoking.”
- Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive Director of Public Health England

The basis for these remarkable statistical declines comes from a scientific research study conducted by co-authors Dr. Jamie Brown and Dr. Robert West of the University College London.  The study entitled Quit success rates in England 2007-2017 is published on the Smoking in Britain website. 

News of the plunging UK smoking rates follows closely on the heels of another important study conducted by an American-based anti-smoking group located in Washington, DC named the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).  On May 8, 2017, ASH published research indicating that for the first time in history, more Brits vape than smoke.


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