Smoking Rates in Scaffolding Industry Soar, Experts Call for Action


A recent report has revealed that workers in the scaffolding industry are three times more likely to smoke than those in other sectors, prompting experts to call for increased smoking cessation support.

The Office for Health Improvement & Disparities (OHID) reports that over one in five employees in routine manual and service occupations in England smoke, a rate three times higher than other industries. 

The employee smoking inequality gap has increased by 5% over the past five years, with routine and manual professionals lagging behind national smoking cessation trends.

Data insights collected by Vape Club show that smoking prevalence among manual workers makes them 65% more likely to smoke than England’s average smoking rate. 

To achieve the government’s goal of reducing the number of smokers to 5% of adults in England by 2030, it is crucial to encourage manual workers to adopt smoking cessation methods. Experts say it emphasises the need for HR departments to address the issue and help improve worker health.

Last week, the UK government launched a world-first ‘swap to stop’ scheme, providing one in five smokers in England with a free vape starter kit to help them quit. A recent trial by the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the NHS Stop Smoking Service found that a vape starter kit assisted 42% of participants in quitting within a month, with an additional 15% quitting after 12 weeks.

Dan Marchant, managing director of Vape Club, stated, "It's vital that everyone has the same access to support and nobody in society is left behind." 

He urged HR departments in routine and manual sectors to offer greater support for employees to quit smoking, emphasising the potential benefits for both individuals and businesses.