Adult cigarette smoking
This report examines the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults in England in 2015. It compares different population groups, by age, sex, income and region. It also looks at e-cigarette use and exposure to second-hand smoke.
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.