It’s official: “No Teen Vaping Epidemic”.
The Action on Smoking and Health has released its update on teen e-cigarette use in the UK. It stands as a fantastic testimony to the method in which we as a nation have embraced vaping as a method in tobacco harm reduction, and after over a decade of vaping products in public circulation, there is still no evidence of either a teen vaping epidemic, or a suggestion that vaping is a gateway to smoking tobacco.
The ASH report found that:
- A large majority of 11–18-year-olds have never tried or are unaware of e-cigarettes (83%). This has barely changed since 2017
- 16.4% of 11–18-year-olds had ever tried vaping
- Only 1.8% of young people used e-cigarettes more than once a week
- Current use of e-cigarettes among 11–18-year-olds is higher among current smokers than ex-smokers
- Current use of e-cigarettes among 11–18-year-olds is very low in never smokers (0.7%)
- Children under 16 are less likely to try e-cigarettes than 16–18-year-olds
- Only 7.8% of 11–15-year-olds have tried vaping
- Young people vape mainly just to give it a try (49.8%) not because they think it looks cool (2.1%)
- They are unlikely to choose e-cigarettes because they are easier to access (1.0%)
- They are unlikely to choose e-cigarettes because they are cheaper (0.8%) than tobacco cigarettes
- The perception among young people that cigarettes and e-cigarettes are equally harmful has been increasing since 2013
- Only 42.8% of 11–18-year-olds in 2020 believed that e-cigarettes were less harmful than cigarettes
It’s widely accepted in the UK that the British vaping market took off initially in 2010. Now, in it’s eleventh year the ASH has still yet to find any evidence of a teen-vaping epidemic, despite constant fears expressed through anti-vaping campaigns and corrupt politicians.
Any notion of a gateway effect lies dead in the water as ASH says: “The overall trend in tobacco use over time in both adults and children has been downwards from 2010 onwards when e-cigarette use became widespread among adult smokers and ex-smokers.”
All in all, stunningly good news for advocates, vapers, and the industry.