Global smoking rates have started seeing a gradual decrease over the last few years, with the most recent surveys showing it’s at the lowest it’s ever been. It’s quite obvious that more people are now choosing to quit smoking and turn to alternative forms of Nicotine Replacement Therapy to get their fix of Nicotine and improve their lives by not ingesting the thousands of toxic chemicals found in cigarette smoke.
There are the more conventional methods being used still such as Nicotine patches and gum, but also the use of E-Cigarettes has seen a rise, as well as the usage of Nicotine Pouches as well. And in the UK, the Government has been driving their pledge for the country to become “smoke free” by the year 2030. So what does that mean for the future of Nicotine use?
In this article I’m going to take a look at the stats surrounding global smoking rates, why and how the use of Nicotine has changed and what could be in store for the future of Nicotine use as we know it today. Let’s get into it!
Global smoking rates hit an all-time low
Looking at surveys conducted in 2020, adult smoking prevalence numbers sit at 32.6% of men and 6.5% of women across the globe. This may sound a lot but this is actually the lowest it’s ever been and there has been a decrease of 27% in men and 38% in women since 1990 when the surveys started being conducted and looked in to. This is obviously quite a long gap between, but it doesn’t matter when the numbers are decreasing how long it takes.
It’s estimated that there was more than a 40% decrease in high income countries, as well as some South American countries, most notably Brazil that has seen a 70% decrease over a 30-year period which is just crazy when you see it written in front of you.
Coming over to the UK, and the amount of adult smokers hit the lowest it’s ever been when a survey was conducted in 2021. According to the Office of National Statistics, the amount of adult smokers in the UK sits at 6.6 million people (13.3%) which is the lowest it’s ever been since the surveys began to be conducted in 2011 which is really good news to see.
As mentioned, the UK Government has been pushing their agenda of England becoming a “smoke free country” by the year 2030, and they have pledged to do what it takes to get this objective achieved. Independent reports have shown that this target won’t be reached though unless some intervention is made by the Government to create more awareness and support for alternative methods to use for people to get their Nicotine. Which leads me nicely into the next part…
Alternative methods for Nicotine are on the rise
To me, it’s quite obvious that if smoking rates are starting to come down then the use of alternative nicotine products would see a rise, and as the statistics show, it’s definitely happening!
According to a survey from Action on Smoking and Health, the amount of adult users of E-Cigarettes is now the highest it’s ever been, with over 3 million adults now using E-Cigarettes as their preferred method of Nicotine Replacement Therapy after they have quit smoking. E-Cigarettes act like a cigarette by creating the same experience as smoking a cigarette with the inhaling and exhaling, as well as Nicotine being absorbed into the body, but instead of smoke it’s vapour that is created and inhaled/exhaled and there aren’t any volume of deadly chemicals within vape juice and vapour like what there is in cigarettes.
Nicotine Pouch use has also started growing in volume as well around the globe. Whilst not at astronomical figures like what E-Cigarette use is, it’s reported that approximately 7% of the population around the world are active users of Nicotine Pouches, with the large majority being natives of Sweden. Sweden recently achieved “smoke free” status, with less than 5% of the population being active cigarette smokers which is a fantastic achievement to reach. This was largely down to the popularity of Oral Nicotine/Tobacco products as well as the promotion of them within the country also.
Why has Nicotine usage changed so much around the world?
This is a question that you may be asking yourself, and it’s one that is relatively easy to answer which I’ll go into now.
Global awareness over the dangers of smoking has started to increase, this is down to more campaigns being done by anti-smoking organisations as well as health charities who focus on wanting to stamp out smoking and lower the global mortality rate that smoking plays a huge part in.
The internet has evolved over time, and there is an absolute abundance of literature and websites available for people to read and educate themselves with, and also there’s support networks available online which can help people on their quitting journey.
On top of this, Doctors are becoming more pushy for people to quit smoking to help improve their health, and in the UK there is dedicated Stop Smoking Services that people can visit to get expert help and advice as well as the support to carry them through their quitting journey.
And finally, there are more options for Nicotine Replacement Therapy now than there ever has been before with the traditional methods still available, plus the new additions of things like E-Cigarettes and Nicotine Pouches being so readily available.
Doctor’s and Stop Smoking Services in the UK highly recommend people to use E-Cigarettes as their tool to quit smoking, with Public Health England declaring Vaping to be 95% safer than smoking which is huge. There isn’t so much backing for Nicotine Pouches as yet as they’re still relatively new to the market, but any form of NRT is supported by most as it will stop people from smoking and lower their risks of contracting deadly diseases like Cancer which are commonly associated with smoking.
What does the future hold for Nicotine use?
Sadly, I’m not a psychic nor do I have a crystal ball to look into the future, so this next part is merely speculation on my part and what I believe to be the future for Nicotine use going forward not only in the UK but also around the globe as well.
I think that E-Cigarette use amongst adults will continue to see a rise in the direction, and also the usage amounts of Nicotine Pouches amongst adults will continue to grow also. More backing by health professionals on these Nicotine Replacement Therapy options is absolutely crucial for the longevity of them, and the validation of them also which could encourage more people to want to turn to try them if they previously haven’t.
I do believe England will eventually become a Smoke Free country, but certainly not by 2030 as the task at hand is too big currently, and some serious intervention and support from the Government is the only way that this target will be achieved in a realistic time frame, and hopefully before 2037 which is the projected date for it to be hit unless something is done.
Nicotine Pouches have seen a rise in use, but the numbers are still relatively low, so I think more education and promotion of just how good these products can be for people who are wanting to quit smoking and opt to use something that is more subtle and discreet than an E-Cigarette as it doesn’t emit any form of vapour and can be used when on the go without having to worry about it interrupting your day.
If you want to try Nicotine Pouches for yourself, be sure to check out our online store where we offer some great brands and flavours of Nicotine Pouches in different Nicotine strengths, meaning you can pick something best suited for your Nicotine needs and get them delivered straight to your door!