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Proportion of young women smoking rises for the first time since 2008

3The proportion of young women smoking cigarettes has risen for the first time in almost 10 years.
About 21% of women aged between 16 and 34 currently smoke cigarettes, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics, up from 20% the previous year. Smoking among young women had been slowly declining since 2008, when the figure was 27%. The rise was steepest among women aged between 25 and 34, where the proportion rose from 20.4% to 21.8%.
By contrast, smoking among men aged between 25 and 34 fell sharply from 30.3% to 26.5%. The figure for all young men was down from 28% to 26%. Overall, one in five men in Britain smoke cigarettes, compared with one in two in 1974, when current records began. Roughly one in six women currently smoke, down from just over one in three 40 years ago.
Reducing the proportion of the population smoking cigarettes of cigarette smoking is an objective shared by the Westminster and the devolved administrations, Holyrood and the Welsh assembly. The UK government had set a target for England of 18.5% for 2015. The Welsh government has a target of 16% by 2020, while the Scottish government has a target of 5% by 2034. The current figure for the whole of Britain is 18.8%.
Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “It is certainly worrying that more young women are taking up smoking. The introduction of drab standardised packaging from May this year should help tackle this, but more efforts are still needed.”