Cigarettes running out of puff in county figures show, though Norwich bucks trend

Cigarettes stubbed-out in an ashtray. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Cigarettes stubbed-out in an ashtray. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The habit of smoking cigarettes is running out of puff, government research has suggested.

Each year, the Office of National Statistics conducts a survey into the smoking habits of the United Kingdom, which have suggested the percentage of the population that identify themselves as smokers is on the decline.

Regionalised statistics indicate this trend is no different in these parts, with fewer than one in five people of the Norfolk people admitting to being a smoker.

The research showed that for Norfolk as a whole, only 16.3pc of the people included openly admitted to being a current smoker, with 50.3pc claiming to have never smoked.

In all but two regions surveyed, the percentage of smokers has declined, with the most significant decrease coming in Great Yarmouth. In 2015, almost a quarter of the town admitted to smoking (24.1pc). However, in 2016 this figure stood at just 15.7pc.

There were also decreases in Breckland (11.9pc, down from 15.8pc), Broadland (8.2pc, from 12.8pc), King's Lynn and West Norfolk (15.5pc from 17.5pc) and North Norfolk, (8.5pc from 12.3pc).

These figures are in keeping with the national trend, which saw 15.8pc of adults in the United Kingdom admitting to having the habit - a fall from 17.2pc in 2015.

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Bill Jones, of Smoke Free Norfolk attributed the decline to three main factors: education, support and electronic cigarettes.

He said: 'I think as a nation we are becoming more tuned in to the fact that smoking is bad for us, and because of this it has become much less trendy, so new smokers aren't being recruited as much.

'There is also a great deal more treatments available for people who want to quit the habit. With better networks of support in place, there's a high success rate in those that do try to quit.'

The two regions that bucked this trend, however, were Norwich and South Norfolk and, all of which saw the percentage of people admitting to smoking rise.

More than one in five admitted to the habit in Norwich, with 21.49pc of the people surveyed identifying as smokers. This is an increase of more than 2pc from 2015, in which 18.9pc of people claimed to be smokers. Meanwhile, in South Norfolk 11.7pc of people owned up to the habit - up from 10.2pc in 2015.

The research also looked into vaping habits, estimating approximately 2.9million now use the gadgets nationwide.

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