New statistics, released by Welsh Government, show the number of smokers in Wales has failed to decrease with a fifth of all adults still smoking.

The National Survey for Wales, an annual survey which looks at a variety of lifestyle and well-being issues, questioned 11,000 people from across the country.

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In relation to smoking this year’s headline statistics show:

  • 19% of adults reported they currently smoke
  • Smoking is more common for men
  • Smoking is more common in those in deprived households
  • Smoking is less common among people aged over 75

Suzanne Cass, Chief Executive of tobacco control charity ASH Wales, said: “A significant amount of work is being done to reduce smoking rates including the creation of a revised delivery plan for Wales, a ‘new look’ smoking cessation service Help Me Quit and the introduction of more measures to protect children through the Public Health Act. However, it is quite clear there needs to be additional action to help people quit and to stop children taking up this deadly habit.

“Two thirds of all smokers would like to quit and around 40% of smokers try to give up every year. We need to make sure those who want to quit have the right support for them – whether that’s through their GP, the local pharmacy, using an e-cigarette or through the dedicated support service Help Me Quit.”

Disappointingly the number of people using an e-cigarette remained static at 7%. Evidence has shown that e-cigarettes can help people cut down or stop smoking.

Andy Glyde, Public Affairs Manager (Wales) at Cancer Research, said: “Smoking is a 'deadly habit' and causes at least 14 different type of cancer. It’s shocking that 3,000 cases of cancer a year in Wales are caused by tobacco.

“Far too many people in Wales are still smoking and much more needs to be done to help them quit and to reduce deaths from smoking related cancers. We know that NHS stop smoking services are the most effective way of helping people to quit smoking.

“It’s vital the Welsh Government takes forward its promises in last year’s Tobacco Control Action Plan, to invest in and promote these services.”

A full report about health-related lifestyle factors (smoking, alcohol, diet, obesity and exercise) was released on Wednesday 27th June, and can be seen here.