Electronic cigarette (e-cig) usage by young people remains low, despite a marginal increase in the number of 11-18 year olds who have tried them, a new study by ASH has revealed.
According to the recent survey of 2,000 young people, just under 10% have ever tried an e-cig - up from 7% in 2013.
However, e-cig usage appears to be “closely linked” with smoking behaviour, and of the 1.8% young people classed as ‘regular’ or ‘occasional’ users, 90% already smoke tobacco cigarettes.
Just over 90% of young people said they had never tried an e-cig, despite the fact that over 80% are now aware of them - up from under 70% in 2013.
The survey also found that 98% of young people who have never smoked tobacco cigarettes have never tried an e-cig.
Meanwhile, over 90% of young people surveyed who had never tried vaping said they had “no intention” to vape in the future.
ASH chief executive Deborah Arnott said: “Our survey results should reassure the public that e-cigs are not currently widely used by young people, nor are they interested in taking e- cigs up. The small increases in use that have occurred over the last year are almost entirely among children who smoke or have smoked.”
While the vast majority of retailers do not sell e-cigs to under 18s there is currently no legal age limit for their sale. The Children and Families Act 2014 created a provision to raise the age of sale for e-cigs to 18 and the government is likely to consult on regulations soon.