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‘Vaping extremely uncommon among young Britons’

June 24, 2019

Photo: iStock

Young Britons vape just to give it a try, not because they think it’s “cool”, reveals a new study from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

The study also show vaping remains extremely uncommon among 11-18 year olds, with the number of current vapers stand at 4.9 percent in 2019, slightly more than the 3.4 percent of 2018.

However, the proportion of young people tried vaping last year, 15.4 percent, has fallen when compared to the 16 percent of 2018.

Young people vape mainly just to give it a try (52%) not because they think it looks cool (0.5%), findings from an annual YouGov survey, commissioned by ASH, show.

Vaping is much less common among young people who have never smoked, 5.5 percent of whom have tried e-cigarettes compared to 15.4 percent of all those in their age group.

Of young people aged 11-18 years old who have never smoked 0.8 percent are current vapers, only 0.1 percent vape more than once a week, and not a single never smoker reported vaping daily.

Those that have never smoked but have vaped are more likely than average to say the main reason was just to give it a try (71% compared to 52% on average). Around 11 percent of never smokers said the main reason they tried e-cigarettes was because other people used them so they joined in; 10 percent said they liked the flavours; while under 1 percent (0.5%) said it was because they thought it looked “cool”.

When those who had ever tried e-cigarettes were asked which brands they had used in the last 12 months, Smok was the most commonly used at 15 percent, followed by Juul (14%), Vype (13%), blu (10%) and Logic (4%).

Unsurprisingly given the low levels of regular use, 55 percent of those who had ever tried e-cigarettes said they didn’t know what brand they used.

“Smoking prevalence among children and young adults in Britain has fallen substantially since 2010, which doesn’t indicate that vaping has been a gateway into smoking,” said Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH.

“And to date there is little sign that vaping is the “super-cool” phenomenon among young people here that it is said to be in the USA.”