As UK pushes for smoking ban, here are the areas in England with the most ex-smokers

UK smoking areas quit. (Getty Images)
Does a potential smoke-free future for younger generations make you want to quit now? (Getty Images)

With the UK government planning to ban everyone born after 2009 from buying cigarettes, new data analysis has revealed which parts of the country are already taking steps to becoming smoke-free.

It seems Fenland in Cambridgeshire is the country's smoke-quitting capital, with 41.6% of its population being ex-smokers (the highest out of the total number of residents), likely partly reflective of the support of local authorities, according to research by Vape Globe.

Following a close second is Hertsmere in Hertfordshire, with 40.9% of its population ex-smokers. Eden, located in Cumbria, is third, with 37.8% having quit smoking.

Completing the top five is North Devon, with 37.4% of its population being ex-smokers and Havant in Hampshire, with 36.7% having said goodbye to cigarettes, according to analysis of 2022 data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the number of ex-smokers in local authorities.

Serious men and women sitting in a circle during group therapy, supporting each other.
Serious men and women sitting in a circle during group therapy, supporting each other.

"This data underscores how it’s important to not only have smoke-quitting programs at a national level but also locally, as people might be more incentivised in following them. Moreover, local authorities can demonstrate that targeted efforts can yield tangible results in reducing smoking rates and improving public health outcomes," says a spokesperson for Vape Global.

"The notable progress made by these communities serves as a beacon of hope for others, highlighting the potential for effective tobacco control measures to create healthier environments and empower individuals to live smoke-free lives."

While as part of the government's Swap to Stop scheme, vaping has been suggested as a tool for adults to use to help them quit smoking with access provided to kits, Rishi Sunak's recent Tobacco and Vapes bill will help the government crack down on the widespread issue of young people vaping, by making them less appealing to children, with new restrictions on flavours and packaging, among other measures.

Completing the top 10 areas in England with the highest percentage of ex-smokers are Mendip in Somerset (36.3%), Tamworth in Staffordshire (34.6%), West Devon (34.5%), Rother in East Sussex (34.4%) and Dover in Kent (34.3%).

A potential smoke-free future for younger generations may well be the push to make you want to quit now, or encourage you to finally take steps to help. Smoking is an addiction, but one possible to overcome.

" in England has found evidence that smoking prevalence has declined. There is a discrepancy for smoking, as around one in four people in routine and manual occupations smoke, compared with one in 10 people in managerial and professional occupations," says Dr Hana Patel, NHS GP and GP medico-legal expert witness, providing further insight. "Also people who are unemployed are almost twice as likely to smoke as those in work. Smoking prevalence among adults with a serious mental illness is over two and a half times the national average."

For those who want to quit? "I would advise people to speak to their GP as there is good evidence to show that using stop smoking aids increases people’s chance of quitting success. This is particularly shown when combined with expert face-to-face support from a local stop smoking service."