Wednesday 10 March 2004 is National No Smoking Day. Here are some key facts about smoking habits in Great Britain. For further information please click on the links on the right.
Lighting up while waking up In 2001 15% of smokers had their first cigarette within 5 minutes of waking up.
Smoking and marriage People who are married are less likely to smoke than others. For example, among those aged 25 - 34 only 25% of those who were married were smokers compared with as many as 41% of those who were single, cohabiting or widowed, separated or divorced
Prevalence There was no change in the overall prevalence of cigarette smoking in Great Britain between 2000 and 2001: it remained at 27% of those aged 16 and over.
Men v Women 28% of men and 26% of women were cigarette smokers in 2001, which is very different from the early 1970ís when around 50% of men and 40% of women smoked.
Early Twenties most likely to smoke Since the early 1990's the prevalence of cigarette smoking has been higher among 20 - 24 years olds than in other age groups.
Over Sixties least likely to smoke The over sixties are less likely than younger people to have ever been smokers. Only 17% smoked in 2001, the smallest proportion for any age group, and they are also more likely than people of other age groups to have given up.
One in ten 11-15 year olds smoke In 2002 10 per cent of secondary school children aged 11-15 in England were regular smokers; that is, they usually smoked at least one cigarette a week. This proportion rose from 1 per cent of pupils aged 11 to 23 per cent of 15 year olds. Girls are more likely to smoke than boys Ė 11 per cent compared with 9 per cent in 2002.
Regional variations In 2001, as in previous years, prevalence of smoking was significantly higher in Scotland at 31% than in England and Wales (both 27%). In England prevalence tended to be higher in the north of the country than in the midlands and the south.
Number of cigarettes smoked falling The proportion of respondents smoking 20 or more cigarettes a day, on average, fell from 14% of men in 1990 to 10% in 1998, and from 9% to 7% of women, since when it has remained virtually unchanged. The proportion of respondents who were light smokers also changed little through out the 1990's.
35 to 59 age group smoke the most cigarettes Among both men and women smokers, those aged 35 to 59 smoked the most: men smokers in this age group smoked 17 to 18 cigarettes a day, on average, and women smoked 15 per day.
Smokers and non-smokers Fifty-five per cent of non-smokers questioned in 2002 said they would mind if other people smoked near them. Most smokers did say they modified their behaviour when with others. Sixty-six per cent said they do not smoke when in a room with a child, while 52 per cent do not smoke when with adult non-smokers.
Smoking restrictions Eighty-six per cent of people said they were in favour of smoking restrictions at work when questioned in 2002. Eighty-eight per cent were in favour of restrictions in restaurants, 87 per cent in other public places and 54 per cent in pubs.
Hand rolling In 1990 18% of men smokers and 2% of women smokers said they smoked mainly hand -rolled cigarettes but by 2001 this had risen to 31% and 12% respectively.
Pipe smoking Overall, 2% of men in 2001 said they smoked a pipe. Among the 60 and over age group 4% of men smoked a pipe. This was a higher proportion than among any other age group; among men aged under 30, fewer than 0.5% smoked a pipe.
Cigar smoking In 2001, only 5% of men smoked at least one cigar a month, compared with 34% in 1974. However unlike pipe smoking the number of cigar smokers was not concentrated in the 60 and over age group: 4% of 16-19 year old men said they smoked at least one per month.
Women and Cigars Only a small number of women smoked cigars in 1974, and since the late 1970s the percentage of women smoking cigars has been so small that it is scarcely measurable.
Most smokers want to give up Seventy per cent of smokers asked in 2002 said they would like to give up. Nearly nine in ten mentioned at least one health related reason for doing so, while almost a third mentioned financial considerations.
Smoking cessation services Around 235,000 people set a quit date through Englandís smoking cessation services in 2002/03. When followed up 4 weeks later, 53 per cent were still not smoking.
How long can a smoker go without? In 2001 55% of smokers felt that it would be either very or fairly difficult to go without smoking for a whole day.