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Adult smoking habits in London: 2021

What are the latest ONS figures on adult smoking for London? The team from OHID have pulled together key take-aways for London from the National Data.

On 6th December the Office for National Statistics published the much awaited  Adult Smoking Habits in the UK: 2021 . The Local Knowledge and Intelligence Service at OHID have highlighted the following statistics relating to adult smoking habits in London: 2021.

  • In London 2021, 11.5% of people aged 18 years and over smoked cigarettes which is lower compared to 13.0% nationally. This is the lowest proportion of current smokers since records started in 2011 based on estimates from the Annual Population Survey (APS).
  • In London in 2021, the borough with the highest proportion of current smokers was Enfield (18.5%), followed by City of London (18.3%). The lowest proportion of current smokers was for Camden (6.6%), followed by Harrow (7.6%).
  • In London in 2021, 13.0% of men smoked compared with 9.9% of women.
  • In London, those aged 35 to 44 years represented the highest proportion of current smokers (12.9%), followed by those aged 45 to 54 years (12.8%). People aged 65 years and over had the lowest rates (7.9%) in 2021.
  • Regional data is not available but for England in 2021, those with no qualifications had the highest rates for current smokers (27.6%). Rates for those with a degree or equivalent had lowest rates (6.6%).
  • Regional data from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) for London on e-cigarette use is not available but for England in 2021, respondents aged 16 years and over reported that 4.9% currently used an e-cigarette daily and 2.8% occasionally.

See the full ONS report, which describes cigarette smoking habits among adults in the UK.

It includes the proportion of people who smoke and how this has changed, demographic breakdowns and the use of vapes (or e-cigarettes).

Tracy Parr, Programme Director, London Tobacco Alliance and Stop Smoking London said:

‘It is wonderful see that smoking rates have fallen in London to 11.5%. Reducing smoking is a huge pan-London collaborative achievement. It’s a testament to the excellent work of our local authority and NHS stop smoking services and programmes, research, academic and third sector partners to reduce tobacco dependency. Each of these are playing a vital role towards our aim of a Smokefree London by 2030.

“Fewer Londoners are smoking, but tobacco kills one in two of its long-term users. Smoking is the single largest cause of health inequalities, preventable illness, and early death. We have just seven years until 2030, to save thousands of lives. So while we are delighted to see the impact this work is having, we are mindful that we have a long way to go if we are to see our target of 5% smoking prevalence achieved.

“This is why the avoidable harm caused by tobacco in London remains a top public health priority for members of the London Tobacco Alliance which include Directors of Public Health, representatives from the Office of Health Improvement and Disparities, the NHS in London, London Councils, the GLA as well as voluntary sector organisations and academic institutions.”

Join the London Tobacco Alliance.

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