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Smoking down by one quarter in seven years

1.4 billion fewer cigarettes were smoked in England in 2018, compared with 2011, pointing to the success of antismoking measures, researchers say

Cigarette smoking in England fell by one quarter in the period 2011-18, pointing to the success of antismoking measures, researchers say

Picture shows a cigarette being stubbed out. Cigarette smoking in England fell by a quarter in 2011-18, pointing to the success of antismoking measures, researchers say
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Around 1.4 billion fewer cigarettes were being smoked in England in 2018 compared with 2011, a study shows.

Average monthly cigarette consumption fell by nearly one quarter, equating to around 118 million fewer cigarettes being smoked every month.

Authors of the study, published in JAMA Network Open, said the decline suggests that stricter tobacco laws and moves to encourage people to stop smoking are working.

University College London researchers examined cigarette sales data for England and compared it with the monthly self-reported cigarette use of over 135,000 individuals from the Smoking Toolkit study.

Importance of tracking changes in consumption

In the Smoking Toolkit study, participants are asked how many cigarettes they smoke per month.

Over the whole period, the average number of cigarettes smoked monthly declined by 24.4% based on Smoking Toolkit survey data, while cigarette sales fell by 24.1%.

About 16% of adults in England smoke, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The authors pointed to the importance of recording accurate estimates of changes in aggregate cigarette consumption at a national level to evaluate and plan policies aimed at reducing smoking.


Reference

Jackson S, Beard E, Kujawski B (2019) Comparison of Trends in Self-reported Cigarette Consumption and Sales in England, 2011 to 2018. JAMA Open Network. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.10161

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