More and more young adults on the Isle of Wight are spurning cigarettes and choosing not to smoke, new figures have revealed.
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the percentage of the Isle of Wight’s population who have never smoked has risen by 38% since 2011.
18 to 24-year-olds choosing not to smoke
This is because 18 to 24-year-olds choosing not to smoke. Nationally this age group has had the biggest drop in smoking.
Last year, across Britain, 17.8% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they were current smokers, compared with 2011 when more than a quarter smoked.
Cause and effect
Deborah Arnott, Action on Smoking and Health chief executive, put this reduction down to banning tobacco advertising.
“The brightly coloured pack displays we used to have in shops disappeared completely in 2015 and the packs they do see nowadays are a sludgy green colour, with large picture warnings, rather than the brightly coloured, highly branded packs we used to have.
“Is it any wonder young people today increasingly choose not to smoke. It’s much less cool than it used to be.”
Vaping used to stop smoking
This has been helped by the rise of e-cigarettes.
The ONS estimates there are 2.8 million vapers in Britain, and almost half said their reason for taking it up was to stop smoking.
Overall the proportion of smokers on the Isle of Wight has gone down since 2011. That year 20.3% of the Isle of Wight’s population smoked, however by 2017 this figure had dropped to 14.1%.
The Isle of Wight has slightly more smokers than the South East does on average. Across the area 13.7% of people said they were smokers last year.
Women are more likely to smoke than men on the Isle of Wight. Smoking rates across the country are down overall.
Ms Arnott continued:
“Smoking rates have fallen because over the last twenty years the British Government has gone further and faster in tackling smoking.
“But smoking must become history for all of society not just for the wealthy.
“Cuts in public health funding and lack of treatment for smoking on the NHS mean poorer more heavily addicted smokers, including those who are pregnant, are not getting the help they need to quit.”
Nation’s biggest killer
Commenting on the figures, Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, said:
“Smoking rates have dropped by almost a quarter in five years, a triumphant step in eliminating the nation’s biggest killer.
“The data shows we are winning the war on tobacco and that we are tantalisingly close to creating the first-ever smoke-free generation in England.
“But that war will only be won if we make more progress in helping people from deprived areas and people suffering from poor mental health, where we know smoking rates remain stubbornly high.”
Article shared by Data Reporter as part of OnTheWight’s collaboration with Press Association and Urbs Media