New NHS statistics released this month show that both the regular use and experimentation of vaping amongst young people remains low and has declined since 2016.
Ben Timberley, Board Member of the UK Vaping Industry Association and Head of Marketing at Zeus Juice, welcomes the findings:
“These statistics just add to the growing body of evidence which shows that the responsible steps being taken by the vaping industry to prevent access to products by young people are having an effect.
“Our own Association code of conduct insists on robust online age verification methods, a challenge 25 policy in-store and sets a clear expectation that products are only to be marketed towards adult smokers, vapers and consumers of other nicotine products. UKVIA members will continue to work together to ensure high standards of youth access prevention across the industry whilst helping the remaining seven million smokers in the UK make that switch to a far less harmful product”.
These latest NHS figures confirm that:
- Regular use of vaping products by young people remains at less than 2% – there is no evidence of an increase and there has been a decrease since 2016. These regular users are overwhelmingly young people who also report that they regularly smoke.
- Experimentation with vaping products by young people remains at the same level as in 2016.
- Less than 1% of young people who have never smoked have tried vaping products.
The UKVIA takes this matter very seriously and therefore are pleased that according to Public Health England and ASH, there is no evidence of youth uptake of vaping products in the UK:
- Public Health England figures from February 2019 found that while 1.7% of under-18s vape weekly, the vast majority of those also smoke. Public Health England say that among young people who have never smoked, only 0.2% vape regularly.
- The suggestion that young people experiment with vaping because it is cool has also been disproved by figures from June 2019 from Action on Smoking and Health which shows that only 1% of young vapers experiment with vaping because they think it “looks cool”.
- We want to keep it this way – vaping is not cool. It is a consumer product to help adult smokers quit and to help prevent adult vapers switching back to smoking.
- The ongoing debate comparing the UK to the vastly different situation in the USA may ironically have the perverse effect of glamorizing vaping for young people in a way that the responsible industry in the UK does not do.