We're All Spending Far Less On Alcohol, Cigarettes And Drugs

The nation are becoming more clean living, new survey suggests

It would appear the nation are becoming more clean living, with less money being spent on alcohol and cigarettes and more on dining out and leisure.

According to the Family Spending Survey from the Office for National Statistics, spending on alcohol, cigarettes and narcotics has fallen to to £11.40 a week, as opposed to figures from the start of 2000 showing families spent nearly £20 on such items a week. This is in part due to the decline in the number of people who smoke.

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Despite the dramatic fall in booze and cigarettes, overall spending for households remain unchanged. Families spent an average of £528.90 a week in the year to March 2016, which is the same as the previous year.

The statistics also found that households spent £45 a week on going out to restaurants, hotels and cafes, up for the first time in five years.

The household budget shows that living and transport costs continue to be the most expensive items, with people spending £72.50 on their property. This includes rent, water, and general maintenance, and excludes council tax and mortgages.

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Director of research for Europe at Mintel, the market-research company, Toby Clark suggested the shift in figures displayed the nation's attempts at being more health conscious.

"There is a limit to the amount of stuff people can accumulate," he told the Guardian. "People are spending money on experiences - holidays, seeing new exotic places, going to music festivals, eating out - rather than accumulating more things."

Meanwhile, Scotland spends an average of £8.90 on alcohol a week, compared to the UK's £7.80, and while English households spend £2.90 a week on tobacco, Wales spend £3, Scotland £4.90, and Northern Ireland spend £6.60.