With the Government budget tomorrow expected to pile as much as 50p onto a packet of cigarettes, figures released today from the Office for National Statistics show that less young people are lighting up with 20% of 18-24 year olds smoking compared to 25% five years ago.
Even among the age group most likely to smoke, 24- to 35-year-olds, about 40% smoke compared to 65% previously.
Of course its a good thing but i don't buy the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Charity who say the results are due to a combination of effective legislation, policy and support for quitting.
In my dealings with teenagers, the most effective combination in the decline in smoking has been the exorbitant price of cigarettes and the rise of electronic cigarettes.
Where before the clouds of smoke above the smoking areas would cigarette smoke, now it is plumes of sweet smelling vapour and i have not seen a decline in the numbers huddled under the smoking area in recent years, just a change in what they are puffing on.
In 2015, three out of every 100 16- to 24-year-olds used electronic cigarettes, up from one in every 100 in 2014and in total 2.3 million people in the UK are using them.
The concern quite rightly is that Vaping could prove a gateway to smoking for teenagers and the fruit flavours of some e-cigarette liquid could make them more appealing to children.
The NHS recently agreed that while Vaping is certainly the more healthy option when compared to smoking, it still comes with it's own dangers so the best option is not to start but i say if you are going to start, go with the e-cigarettes because not only are they not as bad as cigarettes, they taste better and £10 a day for a packet of cigarettes compared to the £10 a month you spend on the nicotine liquid for the e-cigarettes will mean less strain on your finances.