Number of adults using ecigarettes rises 70 per cent in two years

The statistics from NHS Digital show 14.7 per cent of UK adults are smokers. Just over half of those vaping said it was to help them quit smoking. Adults aged 35 to 49 were most likely to use e-cigarettes (8.1 per cent), while adults aged 60 and over were the least likely (4.1 per cent). The number of adults vaping has risen by 70 per cent in just two years, with one in four children trying e-cigarettes, official data shows. The NHS data shows the number of adults and children smoking has dropped to a record low, while vaping is on the rise. In total, 6.3 per cent of adults are current users of e-cigarettes, the figures for 2016 show – up from 3.7 per cent in 2014.  And 25 per cent of children aged between 11 and 15 have tried e-cigarettes – a rise from 22 per cent in two years.Public Health England said vaping is now the most popular and effective way for smokers to quit.Chief executive Duncan Selbie said: “This is really positive news in the battle against the nation’s biggest killer. Smoking in England is in terminal decline, with the lowest number of smokers ever and a smoke-free generation now in sight.”The figures, for 2016, show just six per cent of school pupils aged between 11 and 15 reported they were current smokers, down from 22 per cent in 1996. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Martin Dockrell, PHE’s tobacco control lead, said: “Vaping remains the most popular way for smokers to quit and already this year several major studies have found that it is twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapy. So it’s unsurprising that more smokers are using e-cigarettes to quit and stay quit.“This data shows that vaping in England remains a route out of smoking, with quitting tobacco the most common reason for adult e-cigarette use. While not completely risk free, there is now a strong international consensus that vaping is far less harmful than smoking.” read more