12.9% of the adult population are current smokers

There are approximately 7.2 million current smokers in United Kingdom

14.6% of men are current smokers but only 11.2% of women

Quick links to detailed datasheets for United Kingdom
Country profile
Data sourced: 2023.   Page updated: 2024-02-29

Smoking in United Kingdom

The overall smoking prevalence in the United Kingdom has reduced significantly since 2011. 12.9% of the adult population in the United Kingdom are current smokers, down from 20.2% in 2011. This means there are now approximately 6.4 million smokers in the country. 14.6% of men smoke, whilst 11.2% of women are current smokers.

The most recent data show there were 114,513 annual deaths attributable to tobacco smoking (approximately 51,700 women and 62,800 men). The annual percentage of all deaths attributable to tobacco smoking was 18.87% (women: 16.9%; and men: 20.5%).

Nicotine vapes (e-cigarettes) are legal in the United Kingdom and there are 3.6 million vapers in the country, giving an adult vaping prevalence of 6.4% (women: 5.6%; and men: 7.2%). There is a requirement to ensure vape packaging contains a health warning, there are no restrictions on the range of flavours available and they can only be sold to those 18 and older. Vaping devices can be purchased without a prescription and there are no legal restrictions on their use in public places.

Heated tobacco products (HTP) are allowed to be used and can be marketed, but the situation is more complicated for snus. While it is illegal to import snus for trade or buy the product online, it is possible to import it for personal use.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products can be marketed and are available to buy in many general shops without a prescription. The NRT market in the United Kingdom is worth €165.4 million.

For further information and full references, click through to the detailed datasheets above.



114513 people die every year due to tobacco smoking in United Kingdom.

165.4 million €

Market size of NRT.

Estimated NRT market size is 165.4 million €.

Nicotine Vaping Devices

in United Kingdom

The UK abides by the European Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) (2014), despite having left the EU. E-cigarettes are regulated under the UK Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (SI 2016 no. 507). This covers all of the UK, however the devolved nations may choose to apply greater restrictions. Manufacturers must provide detailed information regarding all new e-cigarette products to the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Advertising is allowed on billboards and at point of sale but not on TV and radio. Legally, there are no restrictions on where you can vape, but companies, public transport and public buildings implement their own restrictions. E-cigarettes are subject to a 20% Value Added Tax (VAT); however, if they are regulated as medicines, a 5% tax is levied instead. No 'medicinal' products are currently available.

Heated Tobacco Products

in United Kingdom

HTP is allowed. Advertising of HTP is allowed.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

in United Kingdom

Estimated NRT market size is 165.4 million €. In United Kingdom you don't need a prescription to purchase NRT. Advertising of NRT is allowed. NRT are available in many general shops without a prescription.


in United Kingdom

The sale of Snus is banned. Use of Snus is permitted by law in United Kingdom.


in United Kingdom

Pouches are allowed. Advertising of Pouches are allowed.

The GSTHR database is updated regularly by our team. However, please be aware that the information we provide does not constitute legal advice. We cannot guarantee that the information is up to date or accurate, as the regulatory status of different product categories can change at short notice and with little publicity. If you wish to check the legal status of use or possession of any safer nicotine product in a specific country or region, you should verify the information independently. If you have reason to think that the information supplied on the GSTHR is inaccurate, please contact us with details and any references and we will rectify any errors.