The towns with the least ex-smokers in the UK - Crawley rounds out the top ten

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Tower Hamlets, London, takes the first place with only 9.1% of it's population being ex-smokers.Five more London boroughs figure in the top 10 including; Newhaem, Islington, Redbridge, Waltham Forest and HounslowOutside of London, Epsom & Ewell and Leicester complete the top five, with Leicester and Crawley also within the top ten

With news this week coming out the the number of people quitting smoking has stalled and, in some cases, reversed with people smoking more, a new study by online vape retailer Vape Globe reveals that Crawley, in West Sussex, is one of the towns where it's hardest to quit smoking in England.

The study analysed the latest available data for 2022 from the Office for National Statistics on the number of ex-smokers in UK local authorities. Researchers ranked each area based on the lowest-to-highest percentage of its population that is ex-smoker.

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Topping the list is Tower Hamlets, in London, with an estimated population of 28,417 ex-smokers, constituting only 9.1% of its total population of 312,273.

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Another London borough, Newham, comes in second place with 11.2% of ex-smokers, which corresponds to 39,270 ex-smokers over a total population of 350,626.

Following closely behind is Epsom and Ewell, situated in Surrey, which records a population of only 9,477 ex-smokers, comprising 11.7% of its populace. Based on this factor alone, the number of ex-smokers is the lowest on the list, followed by Crawley, which comes in tenth place with 18,854.

In fourth place is Leicester, with 43,190 ex-smokers, representing 11.8% of its population of 366,018, the highest percentage among the top ten.

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Four more London boroughs follow closely behind: Islington, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, and Hounslow, which occupy positions five to eight.

Luton, in Bedfordshire, is ninth, while Crawley, West Sussex, is tenth.

The 10 hardest areas in England to quit smoking

Rank (least ex-smokers per 100,000 residents) Town/city County % ex-smokers in population
1 Tower Hamlets London 9.1%
2 Newham London 11.2%
3 Epsom and Ewell Surrey 11.7%
4 Leicester Leicestershire 11.8%
5 Islington London 13.1%
6 Redbridge London 14.0%
7 Waltham Forest London 14.2%
8 Hounslow London 15.0%
9 Luton Bedfordshire 15.5%
10 Crawley West Sussex 15.9%

A spokesperson for Vape Globe commented on the findings: “It seems way harder to quit smoking in bigger towns and cities. With six London boroughs in the top ten alone, it highlights the challenges urban environments pose for smoking cessation efforts. Another example is the city of Leicester, which registers the biggest population in the top ten but still does not see a great percentage of ex-smokers, remaining below 12%.”

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