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No evidence E-Cigarettes Promote Smoking in Children

August 21, 2015
Public Health

A recent survey commissioned by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and undertaken by YouGov, has concluded that e-cigarettes are unlikely to be introducing young people to other forms of smoking. Researchers questioned 2,300 under 18 year olds with 10% saying they had tried e-cigarettes ‘once or twice’ a rise of 6% from a previous survey in 2013. Of the 2.4% who said they were regular users, almost all had been or were still regular smokers.

Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy at the anti-smoking charity said, “These results should reassure the public that electronic cigarettes are not linked with any rise in young people smoking. Although more young people are trying electronic cigarettes and many more young people are aware of them, this has not led to widespread, regular use or an increase in smoking.”

Awareness of e-cigarettes amongst children has increased significantly in the past two years with only 7% of those questions having no knowledge of the products. Perceptions on harm have however increased with researchers finding an increase from 11% to 21% in 11 to 18 year olds, who believe e-cigarettes are as harmful as conventional smoking.

Sales of e-cigarettes to under 18’s is set to be banned in England and Wales from October 1st, while in Wales their use will also be outlawed in enclosed public spaces. Last week, the Royal Society for Public Health called for a public information campaign to differentiate the problem of nicotine addiction from the inhalation of toxins produced by tobacco.

You can view the full survey HERE.

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