The latest figure for the prevalence of current smokers in the UK, 14.7% overall (2018), represents a significant reduction in the proportion of current smokers since 2011 (when prevalence was 20.2%). Since 2011, the largest fall in smoking prevalence has been among 18 to 24 year-olds. During the same period, men's smoking prevalence decreased from 22.4% to 16.5%; and women's from 18.2% to 13%. Smoking data for the UK are taken from the Annual Population Survey (APS), a continuous household survey that covers adults aged 18 years and above. The survey uses a large sample of around 320,000 households each year.
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 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.