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Trends in Exclusive Non-Cigarette Tobacco Smoking in England: A Population Survey 2013-2023

Jackson, Sarah E; Shahab, Lion; Brown, Jamie; (2024) Trends in Exclusive Non-Cigarette Tobacco Smoking in England: A Population Survey 2013-2023. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 10.1093/ntr/ntae021. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The UK Government intends to implement a "smokefree generation" policy prohibiting the sale of all tobacco products to people born after 2008. National surveys provide comprehensive data on cigarette smoking, but little is known about patterns of non-cigarette tobacco smoking across key population groups. AIMS AND METHODS: Using data from a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of adults in England, collected monthly between September 2013 and September 2023 (n = 196 721), we estimated time trends in exclusive non-cigarette tobacco (eg, cigar/pipe/shisha) smoking prevalence, overall and by age, gender, occupational social grade, region, ethnicity, and vaping status. Interviews were conducted face-to-face until March 2020 and via telephone thereafter. RESULTS: From September 2013 to September 2023, there was a non-linear increase in exclusive non-cigarette tobacco smoking prevalence (from 0.36% to 1.68%; prevalence ratio = 4.72 [95% CI = 3.43-6.48]). Prevalence was relatively stable up to February 2020 (at an average of 0.46%), then increased sharply at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic (at the same time as survey methods changed), to 0.90% (0.82%-0.99%) in March 2020. This was followed by a steadier rise, peaking at 1.97% in May 2022, before falling slightly to 1.68% by September 2023. In 2022/2023, 1 in 10 smokers (10.8% [9.64%-12.0%]) exclusively used non-cigarette tobacco. The rise in prevalence was observed across all subgroups but was most pronounced among younger adults (eg, reaching 3.21% of 18-year-olds vs. 1.09% of 65-year-olds). Prevalence was consistently higher among men and current vapers. CONCLUSIONS: Although exclusive use of non-cigarette combustible tobacco remains rare among adults in England, it has increased in recent years, particularly among younger ages. As of September 2023, there were approximately 772 800 adult exclusive non-cigarette tobacco smokers in England; around five times more than a decade earlier. IMPLICATIONS: The proportion of adults in England who do not use cigarettes at all but smoke other combustible tobacco products has increased substantially in recent years, with a particularly pronounced rise among young people. 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.

Type: Article
Title: Trends in Exclusive Non-Cigarette Tobacco Smoking in England: A Population Survey 2013-2023
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntae021
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntae021
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10188878
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