Greater scientific evidence, tighter regulation and changing social beliefs have meant more people are quitting smoking than ever before.
In fact, the latest annual statistics from NHS England show that in the year leading up to March 2019, the number of successful quitters increased from 121,742 to 123,800 (up 1.7%).
But where in England has seen the biggest behaviour changes when it comes to smoking?
To find out, Lifestyle Packaging has analysed key data* including NHS spend per head, official quite smoking rates over the past 10 years, Google search interest in vaping products and demand for e-cigarette shops.
Focusing on quit smoking rates as recorded by NHS England, Stoke-on-Trent is the clear winner, with an increase in success rate of 91% since 2009, closely followed by five London Boroughs: Croydon (76%), Hackney (75%), Lambeth (71%), Hammersmith and Fulham (66%) and Ealing (66%):
% increase in quit smoking rate (2009-2018)
Hammersmith and Fulham
At the other end of the table, Barrow-in-Furness and Carlisle have seen the greatest decline in successful quit smoking attempts since 2009, down 64% in 2018. Blackpool, Bromsgrove, Redditch and Worcester closely follow:
% decrease in quit smoking rate (2009-2018)
Considering the pressure on NHS spending budgets in recent years, it’s also important to look at where the NHS is investing the most to help people kick the habit.
Based on local authority spending, residents in North Lincolnshire receive the most NHS financial support to quit smoking (£3,516 per head), followed by the City of London (£1,427), Stockport (£1,371), Southwark (£1,291) and Buckinghamshire (£1,280):
NHS Spend per Quitter
City of London
The local authorities which spend the least on quit smoking support per person are Derby (£61), Thurrock (£87), Wiltshire (£89), Isles of Scilly (£117) and Croydon (£137):
NHS Spend per Quitter
Isles of Scilly
As a strategy to help smokers quit combustible cigarettes, the UK government is in support of e-cigarettes or vaping. The first scientific study of its kind on the smoking population in England recently found vaping products helped more than 50,000 people quit smoking in 2017 alone.
From scraping Google Maps data, Lifestyle Packaging has found Newcastle-under-Lyme has the greatest demand for vaping products and the highest-rated vape shops, scoring 8.83 out of 10. In all, the town has 49 vape shops for a population of 129,490:
Demand for vaping products out of 10
Barking and Dagenham
Blackburn scores 7.18/10 with 38 vape shops for its 148,942 residents, followed by Ely (7.07/10), Barking and Dagenham (7.04/10), Nottingham (7.01/10) and Wolverhampton (6.96/10).
Rich Quelch, Head of Global Marketing for Lifestyle Packaging commented on the findings:
“These results highlight the important role geography can play in the quality and success of quit smoking initiatives and lifestyle choices made around smoking and vaping.
“Public Health England demonstrated back in 2015 that vaping can be up to 95% less harmful than smoking regular tobacco products. While the best advice would be not to smoke anything, e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to combustible cigarettes and can support smokers in their quitting journey.”