Report reveals huge progress in Britain's stop smoking mission

New research proves that Brits are taking heed of health warnings and are deciding to quit smoking in their droves, reports bmj.com.

According to stats from University College London (UCL), based on a survey of 22,167 adults in Britain, just 19.3 per cent - or less than one in five people - still smoke on a regular basis.

The researchers claimed there was still plenty of work to be done in tackling the social side of smoking, as youngsters and adults can still be persuaded into enjoying cigarettes by their smoking peers.

However, generally speaking, the results are hugely positive. UCL showed that smoking rates in England fell below 20 per cent last year for the first time in 80 years.

Dailymail.co.uk says this is a result of health educators finally managing to reach out to the millions of people who have tried to kick their habit without any success.

Alison Cox, head of tobacco policy at Cancer Research UK, said it was "very encouraging" to hear of the new figures but reminded campaigners that millions of people are still hooked to a "lethal product".

She said emphasis must be placed on reducing smoking rates among young people and to implement plain, standardised packaging to make cigarettes seem less enticing on store shelves.