Interactive map shows proportion of smokers in every part of Wales
A new interactive map shows the proportion of smokers in every area of Wales as new figures have revealed the proportion of the population across the UK that smokes has fallen to its lowest level on record.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 13.3% of people aged 18 and over in the UK smoked cigarettes in 2021, the equivalent of around 6.6 million people.
This is the lowest proportion of current smokers since records started in 2011, when it stood at 20.2%.
The highest proportion of current smokers in 2021 was in Scotland at 14.8%, with the lowest in England at 13.0%.
Wales and Northern Ireland reported 14.1% and 13.8% current smokers respectively, the ONS said.
Blaenau Gwent was the area with the highest proportion of smokers in Wales last year at 19.2% while Monmouthshire was the lowest at 10.3.
The ONS said there had been a “statistically significant” drop in the proportion of smokers from 14.0% of the population in 2020.
It added: “In 2021, the proportion of current smokers in the UK was 13.3%, which equates to 6.6 million people.
“There has been a statistically significant decrease in the proportion of smokers from 2020 (14.0% of the population).
“The trend in smoking prevalence continued to decrease, and the latest figure represents a 6.9 percentage point decrease in current smokers compared with 2011 (20.2% of the population).”
The ONS said that vaping devices such as e-cigarettes had played a “major role” in reducing the prevalence of smoking.
It also found that the proportion of vapers was highest among current cigarette smokers (25.3%) and ex-cigarette smokers (15.0%), with only 1.5% of people who have never smoked reporting that they currently vape.
James Tucker, data and analysis for social care and health division at the ONS, said: “This year, we have reported 13.3% of adults aged 18 years and over in the UK were smokers in 2021; this is a decrease from 14.0% in 2020.
“This is the lowest proportion of current smokers since 2011, when we began recording smoking prevalence from the annual population survey (APS).
“The decrease in the proportion of current smokers may be partly attributed to the increase in vaping and e-cigarette use.
“Data from the opinions and lifestyle survey have shown regular use of a vaping device has increased in 2021 and the highest usage was among those aged 16 to 24 years.”
Men were more likely to be current smokers in 2021, with 15.1% of men smoking compared with 11.5% of women in the UK.
People aged 25 to 34 years had the highest proportion of current smokers at 15.8%, the ONS said, while those aged 65 and over had the lowest at 8.0%.
The ONS said that people who had no qualifications were more likely to be current smokers at 28.2% compared to those whose highest level of education was a degree or equivalent at 6.6%.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.