It seems that the Brits are not a happy bunch at present, after a poll commissioned by 'blue eCigs' suggested that as many as seven in every ten people were not 'happy' with their lives at present and their expectations for the year ahead. The report, backed by the electronic #Cigarette manufacturer, yielded the worrying statistic that 40 percent of the respondents asked had even admitted that they were 'unhappy' with their lives in general.

Only three in ten were willing to admit that they were 'happy', with the explanations for why they felt that way varying greatly as one might expect, although the common themes of high debt levels, New Year's resolutions that had not been kept and poor relationships were prevalent among many. Although people feeling miserable and generally unhappy is often associated with the 'January blues', after all of the excitement of the Christmas holiday period in December, some of the reasons for the long faces could be viewed as longer term, such as people being conscious of their body shape or simply having a lack of general confidence in themselves.

The survey drew on a representative sample of around 2,000 people, 69 percent of whom found that they were stuck in an all too familiar daily and weekly routine that could be classified as being due to the 'rat-race' they viewed life to commonly be. With the New Year starting, the CEO, Jacob Fuller of the company commissioning the poll, cited an explanation for the overall pattern of unease perhaps being partly due to many people seeking to massively change their lives for the better, but not being able to follow that ambition through, for whatever reason. His 'advice' based on the results would be to adopt more reasonable and manageable aims and targets, as that would seem to be a more likely means to improve happiness overall.

With the study having the interesting title of the '2015 UK Optimism Audit', there was as one would expect from a company specialising in smoking-related products, some targeting of smokers and their expectations for the future. Many of that demographic group admitted that they believed that a switch to e-cigarettes might improve their general lifestyle.

The report's findings may however be questioned by some, given that they are not alone in polling people in the UK on similar topics. Other private firms indicate higher proportions of 'happy' UK people. It may of course depend on how the questions are phrased, as the devil is 'in the detail' commonly when attempting to assess trends and patterns. The Markit household finance survey made public their findings earlier this week, in terms of feelings towards financial wellbeing. Their results were at odds with the blue e-Cig's report, citing low inflation and interest rate stability as leading to a more optimistic outlook in the UK. They too, though, found that there was less perceptible optimism regarding wages, given that for many they have remained almost stagnant in recent years.

The idea of measuring how people in the UK are feeling is not completely knew of course. #David Cameron took an interest in 'well-being' in 2010 and even introduced the notion of a 'Big Society', which was not well-received by many at the time, who believed that they were being (effectively) told how to think and act. The idea was that by knowing about people's well-being and attempting to improve it, it would ultimately help the Government to help the British people to attain the "good life". 'Quality of life' became a watchword for those in power, as equally important as how the economy was doing.