Scotland slips from smoking top spot

stubbed out cigarette

Scotland has lost its unenviable crown of being the smoking capital of the UK, according to new data published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

A study, Adult Smoking Habits in the UK 2019, found the proportion of over-18s in Scotland who smoked stood at 15.4% last year. The number has fallen consistently since 2011, when it stood at 23.4%.

People in Northern Ireland are now most likely to light up, although – at 15.6% – you could barely separate the two countries with a cigarette paper.

England has the lowest prevalence (13.9%) while the number in Wales sits at 15.5%. Taken as a whole, 14.1% of the UK’s adults are smokers – some 6.9 million people.

The survey also put the number of vapers at nearly three million, or 5.7% of the population.

However, the bad news for the Vaping category is that this is down from 6.3% in 2018, although ONS number crunchers said the difference was not “statistically significant”.

What is significant is that the category has effectively stalled. Only 3.7% of the population vaped in 2014, when data collection began. After two years of increases, there has been no real rise since 2016, when the figure stood at 5.6%.