Tuesday, November 19, 2013

About Smoking In England

Smoking in England dates back to the 16th century.

From early pipes to 20th century cigarettes, smoking has long been a part of English culture. Cancer Research UK states that at some points in the country's history, up to 65 percent of the population were active cigarette smokers. However, smoking-related cancer deaths have led the English government to enact laws to discourage the habit among Brits.


The image of the British man smoking a tobacco-filled pipe dates back to the 1500s, when England had its first introduction to tobacco, according to Cancer Research UK. However, tobacco's use remained relatively limited until the late 1800s, when the invention of the cigarette made smoking popular. Women began smoking in the 1920s. By the 1940s, female smokers averaged 2.4 cigarettes a day, while four in five men smoked tobacco in 1948.


In the mid 20th century, 82 percent of British men and 41 percent of British women smoked tobacco, according to Cancer Research UK. Since then, the number of smokers has steadily declined. In 2008, approximately one in five British men and women smoke cigarettes. Thirty percent of smokers are between the ages of 20 and 24, and as smokers age, smoking rates decline to 13 percent for Brits over age 60.

Underage Smoking

It is illegal in England to sell tobacco products to anyone under age 18. However, Cancer Research UK states that 14 percent of English children age 15 or younger are smokers--and that is only counting children who admitted to it. The 2007 Health Survey for England measured the levels of the tobacco metabolite cotinine in children's saliva and found that approximately 20 percent of children had enough cotinine to signify that they smoked regularly.

Cancer Deaths

Smoking causes 28 percent of the United Kingdom's cancer deaths and 86 percent of its lung cancer deaths, according to Cancer Research UK. Since mid-century, it has caused six million deaths in Great Britain; half of these deaths cut people's lives short by 20 years, on average.


The United Kingdom passed the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act in 2002, which made tobacco advertisements illegal. In July 2007, England enacted a ban on smoking in indoor public places, including pubs. Since then, anyone caught smoking illegally faces a fine of £30 to £200, and businesses who allow it face fines of as much as £2,500, according to BBC News. This law is intended to reduce the incidence of second-hand smoke and encourage smokers to quit.

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