The number of smokers in the UK has fallen to its lowest level since records began
New Office for National Statistics (ONS) data show that 17.2 pr cent of British adults smoked in 2015 – the lowest level since records began in 1974.
And figures from 2015 show the highest level of so-called quitters in more than four decades.
Statisticians said the prevalence of smoking in the population is reflected in the numbers who have quit.
Data for smoking habits across Britain in 2015 show that among former smokers, 56.7 per cent had quit – the highest proportion of quitters since 1974.
And British smokers are consuming the lowest number of cigarettes on average in more than four decades.
Smokers consume an average of 11.3 cigarettes a day.
This average daily consumption is 33 per cent lower than when consumption peaked in 1976.
The popularity of smoking in Great Britain has dwindled
Office for National Statistics
Overall, 17.2 per cent of British adults smoked in 2015, down from 20.1 per cent of adults who smoked five years previously.
More men than women were smokers in 2015 – 19.3 per cent of men and 15.3 per cent of women smoked.
The ONS report states: "The popularity of smoking in Great Britain has dwindled over the past 40 years.
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Records show 17.2 pr cent of British adults smoked in 2015
"Generally, the prevalence of smoking among the population in Great Britain has fallen and this is reflected in the data on people who have quit.
"In 2015, of those aged 16 years and above who had previously smoked 56.7% had quit – the highest proportion of quitters since 1974."
Smoking was more common among those earning less than £10,000 a year and those seeking employment.
British smokers are consuming the lowest number of cigarettes on average in more than four decades
The ONS data also examines figures on e-cigarettes.
In 2015, 2.3 million people in Great Britain used e-cigarettes – for half of these, "vaping" is used as a means to quit smoking.
Of the former e-cigarette users in Great Britain, around half said they currently smoke cigarettes and 14.4 per cent of the current users said they also smoked cigarettes.