Almost 3 million people in Britain used e-cigarettes in the past year, a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed Thursday. 

ONS has charted the smoking habits of British people and found the number using cigarettes fell from 17.2 percent of the adult population in 2015 to 15.8 percent in 2016, a fall of almost one and a half percent. 

In 2010 more than one-in-five people in Britain smoked cigarettes, with a quarter of adults in Scotland saying they were smokers. 

It means that in 2016 around 7.6 million men and women in Britain smoked cigarettes. 

The study also showed that young adults aged 18 to 24 have experienced the biggest decline in cigarette smoking, falling 6.5 percent since 2010. 

Northern Ireland remains the region with the highest number of smokers, accounting for 18.1 percent of the adult population,. In Scotland it is 17.7 percent and in Wales 16.9 percent, with England having the lowest number of smokers, at 15.5 percent of adults. 

More people in Scotland and Wales have quit smoking in the past year than any other region of Britain, ONS added. There are still more men smokers, 17.7 percent of the male population, compared to 14.1 percent of women who smoke. 

The 2.9 million people who used e-cigarettes in 2016 represents 5.6 percent of the adult population, said ONS. Those aged 16 to 24, were more likely to have tried e-cigarettes, compared to older age groups. 

According to health officials in Britain, smoking is a leading cause of preventable death, with 79,000 deaths in England in 2015 linked to cigarettes. Public Health England also say in the past year an estimated 474,000 hospital admissions were linked to illnesses caused by cigarette smoking.

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