Survey reveals vape use by youngsters

July 13, 2023

A survey about vaping use, carried out amongst 12 to 18-year-olds across the East Riding, has found that one in three young people had tried a vaporiser and one in 10 vape on a regular basis.

East Riding of Yorkshire council is now focused on action aimed at discouraging young people from beginning to vape. Councillor David Tucker, portfolio holder for adults, health and care said: “The increase in vape use by young people is concerning. We have written to Government with our findings highlighting the need for tighter rules on vape marketing and looking at restrictions on the attractiveness, flavour and costs, to make vapes less appealing to the younger generation. “We also want young people to consider the potential harms of vaping and that vaping is not risk free - there is still little evidence about what the potential long term health risks may be. We don’t want young people thinking it is normal and safe. We are focused on prevention, and discouraging young people from starting vaping. “We will also be working with our schools to provide more education and our Trading Standards team to ensure illegal vapes are seized. We are planning a range of action aimed at reducing vape use amongst young people.”

The survey about the use of vapes was completed by 1,448 young people in the East Riding. Young people stated that ‘they like the different flavours’ (78.4 percent) and ‘they like the taste’ (73.2 percent), and almost two thirds said ‘they vape to look grown up’ (64.2 percent). It found that tobacco smoking remains relatively low with 6.9 percent of young people reporting that they smoke either occasionally or regularly. It showed that most young people who are vaping - over 90 percent - have never smoked. Vapes are intended as a short term tool for quitting smoking. Vapes contain nicotine, along with chemicals, and young people can become addicted to it, and so the advice is that if you don’t smoke, don’t start vaping. East Riding of Yorkshire Council commissioned partner, Xyla Health and Wellbeing, will begin going into schools to deliver education directly to students and teachers about vaping in the next academic year. To date, over 3000 illicit vapes have been seized by Trading Standards in premises in Goole, Bridlington, Beverley and Withernsea. This work will continue and the team is also undertaking work aimed at preventing the sales of vapes to children. Councillor David Tucker concluded: “This issue is so important that Full Council has agreed for the Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee to take forward for an in-depth and deeper dive review, to explore issues surrounding vaping further.” It is illegal for retailers to sell vapes or e-liquids to anyone under 18, and for adults to buy tobacco products or e-cigarettes for anyone under 18.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council is stepping up its work to discourage young people vaping. (06-07-113 SU)

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