More and more young adults in Derbyshire are spurning cigarettes and choosing not to smoke, new figures have revealed.
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the percentage of Chesterfield’s population who have never smoked has risen by 69 per cent since 2011.
In the Derbyshire Dales, the figure for the same time period is 23 per cent, while for the High Peak area it’s 35 per cent and in Amber Valley 12 per cent.
This is because more 18 to 24-year-olds are choosing not to smoke.
Nationally this age group has had the biggest drop in smoking.
Last year, across Britain, 17.8 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds said they were current smokers, compared with 2011 when more than a quarter smoked.
Deborah Arnott, Action on Smoking and Health chief executive, put this reduction down to banning tobacco advertising.
She said: “The brightly coloured pack displays we used to have in shops disappeared completely in 2015 and the packs they do see nowadays are a sludgy green colour, with large picture warnings, rather than the brightly coloured, highly branded packs we used to have.
“Is it any wonder young people today increasingly choose not to smoke?
“It’s much less cool than it used to be.”
This has been helped by the rise of e-cigarettes.
The Office for National Statistics estimates there are 2.8 million vapers in Britain, and almost half said their reason for taking it up was to stop smoking.
Ms Arnott continued: “Smoking rates have fallen because, over the last 20 years, the Government has gone further and faster in tackling smoking.
“But smoking must become history for all of society not just for the wealthy.
“Cuts in public health funding and lack of treatment for smoking on the NHS mean poorer more heavily addicted smokers, including those who are pregnant, are not getting the help they need to quit.”
Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, commented: “Smoking rates have dropped by almost a quarter in five years, a triumphant step in eliminating the nation’s biggest killer.
“The data shows we are winning the war on tobacco and that we are tantalisingly close to creating the first-ever smoke-free generation in England.
“But that war will only be won if we make more progress in helping people from deprived areas and people suffering from poor mental health, where we know smoking rates remain stubbornly high.”