Pipes, shisha and cigars on the rise in UK

Pipes, shisha and cigars on the rise in UK

The UK has seen an increase in the number of people who smoke non-cigarette tobacco, according to a report, prompting cancer fears among health experts.

New statistics show that the number of people smoking pipes, shisha and cigars in the UK has risen fivefold over a decade – with the 3% of 18-year-olds using these forms, compared with 1.1% of 65 year olds.

Published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research, the study shows that last year there were around 772,800 exclusive non-cigarette tobacco users. This compared to 151,200 in 2013.

It also found the prevalence to be higher among men and those who currently vape.

Adequate funding

Dr Sarah Jackson is the lead author of the paper and based at UCL’s Institute of Epidemiology and Health. She said: ‘This 10-year-long study captures the shift in trends of non-cigarette tobacco use and paints a concerning picture. Although rates of cigarette smoking have fallen, our data show there has been a sharp rise in use of other smoked tobacco products, particularly among young people.

‘It’s vital that smoking cessation services are adequately funded and available across the UK so that the around 772,800 people who use non-cigarette tobacco products, and the millions who use cigarettes are given the support they need to quit.’

Tobacco is estimated to be linked to 54,300 cases of cancer a year in the UK.

The study authors concluded: ‘The inclusion of non-cigarette combustible tobacco products under the proposed “smokefree generation” policy is therefore likely to be important for achieving the greatest reduction in youth uptake of tobacco smoking, as it would ensure young people who are unable to legally buy cigarettes do not buy other combustible tobacco products that are similarly harmful to health.’

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