The Local Authorities Where Men and Women Smoke the Most

Latest statistics on smoking, per Adult Smoking Habits in the UK: 2016, reveals 15.8% of adults’ smoke. This equates to approximately 7.6 million of the population. A further breakdown of the constituent countries reveals the following: 
15.5% of adults in England smoked.
• 16.9% of adults in Wales smoked.
• 17.7% of adults in Scotland smoked.
• 18.1% of adults in Northern Ireland smoked. 

New analysis provided by ONS and Public Health England in March 2018, gave Vapourcore further insight. The likelihood of smoking is four times higher in England’s most deprived areas than those deemed least deprived. 

The analysis highlights a clear link between smoking and inequality; one which the Government plans to address by cutting the proportion of adults who smoke in England from 15.5% to 12.0% or less by the end of 2022.

Out of several measures of inequality, area deprivation – which combines factors such as income, employment, health and education within an area – had the greatest impact on someone’s likelihood of smoking. The next key factors were someone’s housing tenure and their occupational group. 

Other details revealed, people living in rented accommodation were more than three times more likely to smoke than those in managerial and professional jobs. A person was also more likely to smoke if they reported having no qualifications or having a health problem which severely limited their activity day-to-day. 

Encouraged to learn and understand England’s smokers further, e-cigarette retailer, sought to investigate the differences in gender. To achieve such research, Vapourcore spent time analysing the report provided by ONS and Public Health England, pulling data to expose the local authorities in England where men and women smoke the most – and least. To determine if being a man or a woman influences how much we smoke and where in England we choose to do it. 

The Results

Vapourcore found the local authority with the highest rate of male smokers is Rossendale, Lancashire – at 33.1%. This is closely followed by Newham and Boston, where men smoke at a rate of 29.1% and 29%, respectively. Closing the top five for the highest rate of male smokers is local authorities – and close neighbours – Eastbourne (28.8%) and Arun (28.2%.) 

Turning the spotlight on the local authorities in England where men smoke the least, Vapourcore identified West Dorset (7.2%), Babergh, Suffolk (5.1%) and Epsom and Ewell – at 3.9%, to have supremely low male smoking rates. Yet, Cotswold and Rushcliffe were found to have the lowest male smoking rates, at 3.1% and 2.9%, respectively. 

Comparably, Vapourcore found the local authority with the highest rate of female smokers is Hastings, on England’s southeast coast – at 27.8%. This is closely followed by Burnley and Stevenage, where women smoke at a rate of 25.5% and 24.8%, respectively. Closing the top five local authorities for the highest rate of female smokers, is Kingston upon Hull (24.3%) and Blaby, Leicestershire (23.4%.) 

Alternately, South Ribble, Lancashire is the local authority in England where women smoke the least – at just 4%. Other areas with impressively low female smoking rates, include Watford (4.3%) and Richmondshire (4.6%.) Eastleigh and Brentwood, Essex close the top five local authorities for the lowest rate of female smokers – at 4.7%. 

Health Facts

According to a study published in The BMJ, smoking just one cigarette a day can still have a drastic effect on overall wellbeing and can greatly increase the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke later in life. 

Photo credit: LuFeeTheBear/Shutterstock 

The team involved in the study assessed 55 publications containing 141 cohort studies from 1946-2016.

It is important to note, both male and female smokers share much the same health risk, in relation to smoking. 

The men assessed who smoked one cigarette a day had a 48% greater chance of developing coronary heart disease, while the women were found to be at even more risk with an increased likelihood of 57%.

Men and women smoking one cigarette a day were also 25% and 31%, respectively, more likely to suffer from a stroke than non-smokers. 

Help Is at Hand

However, it’s not all unwelcome news.

Among current smokers in Great Britain, men smoke 12 cigarettes each day on average, whereas women smoke 11 cigarettes each day. These estimates reflect some of the lowest levels observed since 1974, which proves smoking is in fact in decline. 

This could be due to advanced alternatives, such as advanced vaping kits, enabling smokers to quit in an effective way that is also long-term.  Pleasingly, in Great Britain, 5.6% of respondents in 2016 stated they “currently used” an e-cigarette, which equates to approximately 2.9 million people of the population.

In a bid to help smokers who want to quit, has highlighted the following self-help tips to stop smoking using advice derived from the NHS.

Image credit: Hayati Kayhan/Shutterstock

1. Think Positive

If you have tried to quit before and not managed successfully, or know somebody else who has, do not let it put you off. Look back at what your experience has taught you and think positively and proactively about how you’re going to approach it this time around. 

2. Make a Plan

Make a promise, set a date and stick to it. When you outline a plan, either in your mind or on paper, think ahead to the times where not smoking may be the most difficult – such as at a party – and plan your actions and escape routes in advance. 

3. Consider Diet

Is your after-dinner cigarette your favourite? A US study revealed that some foods, including meat, make cigarettes more satisfying. Whereas, cheese, fruit and vegetables, make cigarettes taste awful. Why not try to swap your usual steak or burger for a veggie alternative. 

It may also help to change your routine during or after mealtimes. Getting up and doing the dishes straight away or settling down in a room where you do not smoke may ease your dinner-time struggle. 

4. Change Your Drink

The same study also looked at drinks. Fizzy drinks, alcohol, coke, tea and coffee all make cigarettes taste better, supposedly. So, when you’re out and about, why not try sampling a juice or stick to water to avoid the temptation. 

Some people find simply changing their drink (for example switching from wine to a vodka and tomato juice) affects their need to reach for a cigarette. 

5. Identify Your Cravings

Make a list of what or where makes you crave a cigarette the most. For example, if it’s at a party, perhaps leave the party for a minute, dance or go to the bar for a break and a chat. A craving can last as little as five minutes, so it’s important not to give up, and push through with confidence. 

6. Get Support

Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with expert help and advice? 

If your friends or family members want to give up too, suggest to them that you give up together to help support each other through. If in doubt, make non-smoking friends! This will help you to avoid temptation, such as heading to the smoking area for a chat outside a club or at a restaurant. 

There is also support available from your local stop smoking service. You can also call the NHS Smokefree Helpline on 0300 123 1044 open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm, and Saturday to Sunday 11am to 4pm.

7. Get Moving

A review of scientific studies has proved exercise – even a five-minute walk or stretch – cuts cravings and may help your brain produce anti-craving chemicals. 

8. Keep Your Hands and Mouth Busy!

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can double your chances of success.

As well as patches, there are tablets, lozenges, gum and a nasal spray. And if you like holding a cigarette, there are handheld products like the inhalator and e-cigarettes like the Innokin Endura T20s kit to consider.

When you're out, try putting your drink in the hand that usually holds a cigarette, or drink from an environmentally-friendly straw to keep your mouth busy.

Photo credit: carpe89/Shutterstock 

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