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%.