Variations in smoking prevalence

  • 18% of adults in England were current smokers in 2015 (19% of men, 17% of women).
  • There remains considerable variation by income: 29% of adults in the lowest income quintile were current smokers, almost three times as many as in the highest income quintile where 10% were current smokers. 

Exposure to secondhand smoke

  • Among non-smokers, 81% were not exposed to secondhand (environmental) tobacco smoke, as measured by undetectable levels of saliva cotinine. This is an increase from 2013, when 75% had undetectable saliva cotinine levels.
  • Self-reported regular exposure to secondhand smoke was highest among those aged 16-24; over half of this group reported some exposure.

Use of e-cigarettes

  • The proportion of adults who currently use e-cigarettes was 5% representing a small increase from 2013, when 3% of adults were current e-cigarette users. The prevalence of ever having used e-cigarettes was much higher among current smokers (40%). Only 1% of those who had never smoked had ever used an e-cigarette.

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