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Percentage of population who smoke

Smoking Survey from 1948 to 2010.

Do You Smoke?

In Britain in 1948, when surveys of smoking began, smoking was extremely prevalent among men: 82% smoked some form of tobacco and 65% were cigarette smokers. By 1970, the percentage of male cigarette smokers had fallen to 55%. From the 1970s onwards, smoking prevalence fell rapidly until the mid-1990s. Since then the rate has continued to fall slowly and in 2007 around a fifth (22%) of men (aged 16 and over) were reported as cigarette smokers. Between 2007 and 2009, the rate remained stable, and fell to 21% in 2010.

Smoking has never been a majority habit among women and the percentage of female smokers remained remarkably constant between 1948 and 1970 (41% in 1948 and 44% in 1970). By 2007, the percentage of women who smoke had decreased to around 20%, and has stayed around this level since then. Between 1974 and 2007, smoking prevalence was significantly higher in men than women, but in 2008 and 2010, the difference between the sexes was not statistically significant. There are estimated to be around 10 million adults in Britain who smoke cigarettes.

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