Smoking among young people in England is at a record low, according to new statistics released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.
Figures show 22% of the 5,187 secondary school pupils surveyed in 2013 had tried smoking at least once – the lowest level recorded since the survey began in 1982.
The statistics follow a 10-year decline since 2003, when 42% of pupils had tried smoking.
However, estimates show 100,000 young people aged between 11 and 15 are still classed as regular smokers in England. About a third of pupils also thought it was okay to try smoking.
Every day of delay is allowing more young people to take up this toxic habit.
Simon Gillespie, our Chief Executive, said: “It is encouraging to see that progress is being made to protect young people against this deadly addiction.
“But we cannot ignore the fact that the health of 100,000 young people in England is still being damaged by the regular use of these potentially lethal products.
“The Government needs to pull out all the stops to reduce the numbers of smokers further by making standardised packaging law. Every day of delay is allowing more young people to take up this toxic habit.”