Fewer people are smoking in South Tyneside

South Tyneside saw a fall in the rate of smokers last year, new figures show.

Fewer people smoking in South Tyneside.
Fewer people smoking in South Tyneside.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows 16.3% over 18s in the area were smokers in 2021 - down from 18% the year before – with the use of e-cigarettes playing a "major role" in the fall.

The figures also show 29.8% of adults in the area were ex-smokers while 53.9% had never smoked.

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Men in South Tyneside smoked more than women with 18.5% using cigarettes, while 14.2% of women smoked.

Nationally, 13.3% of adults smoked in 2021, down from 14.0% the previous year and a significant fall from 20.2% a decade ago.

Regionally, 14.8% of adults in the North East were smokers with those aged from 45 to 54 (18.2%) making up the highest proportion of smokers.

Hazel Cheeseman, deputy chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, welcomed the overall fall in smoking levels, but said the Government must not become "complacent" and that without a new anti-tobacco plan the Government’s aim to get smoking down to five per cent by 2050 will not be met.

The current tobacco control plan aims to reduce smoking prevalence to 12% or less by the end of 2022.

The ONS said the increase in people taking up e-cigarettes has played a "major role" in the fall with a separate survey finding 7.7% of over 16s used them -

daily or occasionally – last year.

That was an increase from 2020, when 6.2% people used e-cigarettes.

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The survey found that the proportion of vapers was highest among current cigarette smokers (24.6%) and ex-cigarette smokers (14.8%).