Estimated number of smokers in Edinburgh increases 6,439

ISD stats reveal that the estimated number of smokers in Edinburgh has jumped from 70,591 in 2015/16 to 77,030 in 206/17. This is an increase of 6,439 over the year, 9.1%.

The number of quit attempts have dropped every year for the last five years from 6,692 in 2012/13 to 3,936 in 2016/17.  

The SNP Scottish Government has said that it would like to see Scotland smoke free by 2034 (link).

2016/17 saw a dramatic drop in funding for smoking cessation campaign in Scotland from £588,230 spend in 2015/16 to £133,977 spent in 2016/17, (s5w-14095).

Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative Lothian MSP, said:

“Edinburgh was showing a steady reduction in the number of smokers over the last few years, but the last year has seen numbers shoot back up.

“It is especially worrying that the number of people in Edinburgh attempting to quit is dropping is the year on year.

“The decreasing number of quit attempts and significant reduction in funding for smoking cessation show that SNP complacency is beginning to creep in.

“It’s essential we don’t allow that to slip – quitting smoking is a very difficult thing to do and, when people want to do so, it’s important the NHS is on hand to support them.
“I hope the SNP government addresses this issue next year and places more importance on smoking cessation than it is currently doing , which is crucial if Scotland is going to become smoke free.

“It is important to see a renewed commitment from SNP ministers and I have written to ask for answers.”


Miles Briggs