Following last year’s Stoptober campaign ecigarettes and vaping proved the most successful aid to help smokers stub out the habit, with 53% of people using them and the newest campaign is now backing them.

The number of smokers in Britain has reached its lowest point since records began in 1974, while more than a million people say they are using e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking.

And vaping has helped push the numbers of those people taking part in Stoptober to 1.5 million.

“E-cigarettes are particularly effective when combined with support from local stop smoking services – people who choose this route have some of the highest quitting success rates. E-cigarettes aren’t currently available on NHS prescription, but they can be bought in vape shops, pharmacies and other retail outlets.”

www.nhs.uk

Stoptober began in 2012 and has helped more than a million people quit during that time.

The government’s deputy chief medical officer Prof Gina Radford told the BBC news website that e-cigarettes were playing an important role and, as they had “95% less harmful products” in them than normal cigarettes.

The Royal College of Physicians has also declared ecigarettes 95% safer than smoking and recently called for them to be available on the NHS.

In March The Guardian reported that smoking levels were highest in Scotland, at 19.1%, followed by Northern Ireland, where it was 19%, Wales on 18.1% and England on 16.9%.

Among local authorities, Blackpool is the only one to feature consistently in the 10 heaviest smoking areas between 2012 and 2015. In 2015, 25.3% of adults in Blackpool smoked.