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Put it out: UK cities recording the highest smoking quitting rates

Luton, Cambridge, and Coventry find themselves at the bottom of the list, experiencing an increase in the number of smokers.

© Denis Charlet, AFP
© Denis Charlet, AFP

Oxford claims the title for the UK city with the most significant decrease in the percentage of smokers since 2012. Following behind are Swindon and Edinburgh, showing significant progress in kicking the habit.

Luton, Cambridge, and Coventry find themselves at the bottom of the list, experiencing an increase in the number of smokers between 2012 and 2022.

Stopping smoking has long been a priority for public health officials. With smoking-related diseases causing a significant burden on healthcare systems and individual well-being, efforts to promote quitting have gained momentum in recent years. 

The data review comes from Two Wombats who analysed data on smoking prevalence to determine the percentage difference in current smokers from 2012 to 2022 for the most populated cities in the UK. These results, drawn from UK government data, were then ranked by the highest percentage decrease to the highest percentage increase of current smokers.

The top ten UK cities and the percentage decrease of current smokers are: 

RankCity2012 Current smokers %2022 Current smokers %Percentage Decrease of Current Smokers 2012 – 2022
1Oxford16.37.454.6
2Swindon20.49.553.4
3Edinburgh17.28.351.7
4Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole19.910.149.2
5Newcastle upon Tyne23.712.148.9
6York17.08.748.8
7Brighton and Hove24.712.848.2
8Warrington18.49.946.2
9Leeds22.712.445.4
10Sunderland23.813.244.5

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole take the fourth spot, with a 49.3 percent decrease in the percentage of current smokers from 2012 to 2022. The percentage of current smokers in 2012 was 19.9 percent; this fell to 10.1 percent in 2022.

Newcastle upon Tyne came fifth with a 48.9 percent decrease in the percentage of current smokers from 2012 to 2022. The percentage of current smokers in 2022 was 12.1 percent, compared with 23.7 percent in 2012. 

To assess the data, researchers analysed data on smoking prevalence to determine the percentage difference in current smokers from 2012 to 2022 for the most populated cities in the UK. 

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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