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The end of smoking?

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Fewer and fewer people are smoking Fewer and fewer people are smoking, leading to hopes that the habit could be off the table in years to come

Smoking in the UK continues to decline. In 2016, 18.4% of adults in England smoked, compared to 24.2% in 2007. In addition, 6.3% of people surveyed in 2016 stopped smoking during the past year and 31% tried to quit. Now new papers examine why people think about stopping smoking, reveal economic factors that sustain the addiction and suggest how to reduce harm if people can’t quit. We might even be approaching the smoking endgame.

For example, insights into the reasons why people think about quitting may help nurses tailor advice. Between 2002 and 2015, researchers interviewed 4717 adult smokers from the UK as part of the International Tobacco Control Four Country Survey. On average, UK smokers cited six (mean 5.93) reasons why they considered quitting, most commonly: concern for personal health (cited by 74%); setting an example for children (70.3%); price of cigarettes (66.6%); and concern for health of others (59.3%).1


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