John Dunne, Director General of the UKVIA, said:
This study provides further hard evidence that vaping amongst young people is not a public health issue as some would have you believe. Instead there needs to be more focus on getting pupils to stop smoking as declining rates here have stalled according to the University research.
The study clearly reveals that whilst just over a fifth of students have experimented with vaping (and this has declined by 3% over the last three years), regular e-cigarette usage is as low as 2.5% amongst the student population, down from 3.5% since 2017.
This builds on research undertaken by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) last year which revealed that vaping remained uncommon amongst young people and that this age group vaped mainly to give it a try (52%) not because they thought it’s cool (1%). The same study also showed that of young people aged 11-18, who have never smoked, just 0.1% vaped more than once a week, and not a single never smoker reported vaping daily.
In addition, this year’s vaping evidence review by Public Health England highlighted that most young people who have tried vaping, do so from curiosity and that less than 1% of young people who have never smoked are current vapers.
Despite these low figures of vaping take up by students and young people the UK Vaping Industry Association has been working with its members and Trading Standards to make it as hard as possible for this segment of the population to buy vape products online and in store. This has culminated in the publication of a Guide by the UKVIA for retailers focussed on preventing under age sales of vape products.