Smoking rates within the district has been ranked below the national average according to new statistics published by the NHS.

The new data shows that, Epping Forest has a 13.8 per cent smoking rate compared to the overage average in England of 14.4 per cent.

Interestingly, neighbouring Essex district Harlow has one of the highest number of smokers, reaching an eye-watering 20.6 per cent.

The latest figures were sourced from NHS Digital and collated by Vape Club, unveiling a detailed look at where smoking remains an issue and how successful NHS services have been in curbing the bad habit.

In total, the East of England has the lowest prevalence of smoking in adults (18+), with Brentwood topping the clean air charts with only 6.8 per cent of residents admitting to smoking.

E-cigarettes are currently the most popular stop smoking aid in England, with an estimated 2.5 million users. Over half (51 per cent) have stopped smoking completely.

As for the 45 per cent who said they still smoke, half say that they are vaping in order to stop smoking.

Public Health England say e-cigarettes are 95 per cent less harmful than tobacco and using an e-cigarette with stop smoking service support can double your chances of quitting.

The question that remains is how the NHS can start to engage with vaping as a stop smoking aid.