According to reports, smoking began in 5000 BC. Since then, the habit has grown increasingly popular, particularly after the 1960s. At the time of writing, smoking is a staple of modern-day society within the United Kingdom. Its popularity does, however, pose a number of interesting questions concerning the nation’s smoking figures, and whether or not they’re on the decline. So, let’s take a look at whether Essex-based locals are smoking less at the turn of the new decade.
What Do Figures Suggest?
In their 2019 report, the Office for National Statistics found that 14.1 per cent of people aged over 18 smoked. Interestingly, when compared to data from a study released by Statista in November 2020, it appears that the national figure has increased. At the time of writing, the database company state that 14.7 per cent of adults in the UK smoke. On a national level, it’s clear that the habit continues to retain its popularity within modern-day society.
In relation to Essex, figures from the County Council in 2017 discovered that the prevalence of smokers aged 18 and over sat at 13.84 per cent, which is marginally lower than the current national total. Moreover, the county also boasts a higher percentage of ex-smokers than the entirety of the UK. Essex’s total in 2017 came in at 29.51 per cent, with the national average 26.17.
Comparative to other counties, the Basildon, Canvey, and Southend Echo states that the county in the East of England had the second-lowest adult smoking participation in the UK, as of June 2019. With a total of 13.8 per cent, there had been a 0.04 per cent decrease since 2017.
What Does the Hold Future?
Based on the above statistics, it appears unlikely that Essex will see a smoking population increase. Although minimal, the county is on a downward trajectory regarding its volume of adult smokers. While this lower figure can’t be attributed to one factor, it’s fair to say that the area’s focus on reducing its smoking numbers will have likely played a pivotal role. For example, Essex boasts a county-wide support service. The Stop Smoking program offers advice and one-to-one assistance to those who are striving to stop. Not only that, but the service also includes an aftercare feature, which sees them check in on ex-smokers six and 12 months after quitting.
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A Promising Pattern in Essex
Nationally, smoking figures continue to increase, as evident from the above data. However, Essex is leading by example regarding population totals, and the new-found decline is likely to continue in 2020. With numerous support measures in place and alternative tobacco products to choose from, the county is well placed to sustain its decreasing smoking habits over the coming years.