Skip to content
Closer - The home of longitudinal research

Current cigarette and e-cigarette smokers by sex


Source: Office for National Statistics: Adult smoking habits in Great Britain and E-cigarette use in Great Britain


  • The chart shows the percentage of current cigarette smokers and e-cigarette smokers, by sex, aged 16 and over in Great Britain from 1974 to 2004 in fiscal years and from 2005 to 2021 in calendar years.
  • ‘Current smokers’ includes daily smokers and those who only smoke ‘occasionally’.
  • Data for the proportion of current cigarette smokers was collected on a 2-yearly basis prior to 2000. In addition, the data are only weighted from 2000 onwards. Estimates for 2004 and 2005 both include the period 1 January 2005 to 31 March 2005 because of a change in survey period from fiscal year to calendar year.
  • Data for the proportion of current e-cigarette smokers is weighted. From 2018 the survey question used to measure e-cigarette use changed. In addition, from 2018 ex-vapers only includes those who vaped regularly; previously this group also included those who vaped occasionally. However, it is noted that data for ‘current e-cigarette users’ is comparable across the entire time series (2014 – 2021).


Key dates 
1962Publication: Smoking and Health - Royal College of Physicians
The report often cited as the beginning of changes in attitudes towards smoking.
Television Act
The Government used the 1964 Television Act to ban commercials from advertising cigarettes. (Introduced in 1965)
Introduction of health warnings on packaging
Introduced government warnings onto all cigarette packaging.
Health Act
Banned smoking in enclosed public spaces. (Introduced in 2007)



This page is part of Our Changing Society, a free resource developed by CLOSER to provide detailed information about the historical and political backdrop to study participants’ lives.

CLOSER’s mission is to increase the visibility, use and impact of longitudinal population studies, data and research to ensure that longitudinal evidence is used to address the health, social, economic and environmental challenges facing the UK, now and in the future.

Want to know more?

  • Longitudinal News – Sign up to our monthly newsletter to hear about the latest news, blogs, research and events from the longitudinal community.
  • Learning Hub – Find information and resources to help you better understand longitudinal population studies and how to use the data.
  • CLOSER Discovery – Search and explore data in the UK’s most detailed search engine for longitudinal population studies.