Vaping is as popular as ever, but are more youngsters vaping?

Examining the results of a recent vaping survey.

The use of e-cigarettes in recent years has soared. According to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), there were 700,000 users in 2012 – so far in 2019 there are 3.6 million.

More smokers are quitting with the help of a vaping device. And given that several studies have shown vaping is considerably less harmful to your health than smoking, this has been well received by health organisations. But there have been some concerns that young people (those under 18) could be attracted to vaping, even if they don’t smoke.

Following a recent report published by ASH on the use of e-cigarettes among young people in Great Britain, this article looks into their findings to answer the question: are more youngsters vaping?  

Vaping vs cigarette usage.

The use of e-cigarettes by adults has grown considerably since their commercial release – especially in recent years. At the same time, there has been a downward trend in the use of cigarettes. Not only in adults – in youngsters too. In 2010, 17% of 16–18 year-olds smoked, by 2018 this had fallen to 12%. But has this decrease in smoking seen an increase in vaping among under 18s?

Under 18s awareness of vaping.

Young people have become increasingly aware of vaping. In 2013, 67% of 11–18 year-olds were aware of e-cigarettes. By 2015, it had reached 93%, and it remains at this level in 2019.

Vaping usage among young people.

Although 11–18 year-olds are more aware of vaping, in 2019 only 15.4% of this age group had ever tried it. With 52.4% doing so ‘just to try it’, compared to 1% who did so because ‘they thought it made them look cool’.

The report also showed that of those youngsters that did try vaping, they were considerably more likely to have smoked cigarettes before. A large majority of never smokers aged 11–18 (93.8%) have either never used an e-cigarette (87.8%) or are unaware of them (6.0%).

Despite some 11–18 year-olds having tried vaping, very few (only 1.6%) used e-cigarettes more than once a week.

Why are so few young people vaping?

It’s hard to say for sure, although it might have something to do with so many youngsters incorrectly believing e-cigarettes are as harmful as cigarettes. Several health organisations have now concluded: ‘vaping is relatively less harmful than tobacco smoking’. However, in 2015 67% of young people correctly said that e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking, falling to 52% in 2019.

The report’s conclusion on vaping usage among youngsters.

E-cigarette usage has definitely increased in adults. However, the ASH report concluded: ‘…while some young people, particularly those who have tried smoking, experiment with e-cigarettes, regular use remains low’.

Hopefully this latest report will go a long way to alleviating any concerns a few people had that youngsters (especially those who have never smoked before), might take up vaping.


What happens when you stop smoking? Find out the facts.

what happens when you stop smoking and start vaping

Discover how your body repairs itself and the other positives of quitting.

Long gone are the adverts from the 1950s and 1960s with images of carefree doctors in white coats happily puffing away on a cigarette. Nowadays, it’s no secret how harmful smoking is to your health. What causes the damage are the by-products of tobacco combustion, with the two most harmful toxins produced by cigarette smoke being tar and carbon monoxide.

The sooner you quit, the faster you will reduce the risk of cancer, heart and lung disease, and other smoking-related conditions. In this article, we look at the timeline for how your body repairs, as well as the many other benefits of quitting.

Here’s what happens to your body after you stop smoking.

Your body will begin to naturally heal fairly quickly, and the longer the period without a cigarette, the healthier it gets.

  • 24 hours – the carbon monoxide levels in your blood reduce by more than half and your oxygen levels return to normal.
  • One week – your ability to taste and smell improves.
  • One month – your circulation improves.
  • Six months – as your lung function increases by up to 10%, coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve.
  • One year – your risk of getting heart disease is about half that compared to somebody who still smokes.
  • Ten years – your risk of getting lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker.

More benefits of stopping smoking.

  • You’ll save money. For example, if you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, you could save £70.50 a week, which equates to £3,666.00 a year or £36,660.00 over 10 years. Just imagine what you could do with all that money. Buy a huge TV, go on holiday, buy a new car – even put a deposit down on a house.
  • Your general fitness and breathing will improve.
  • You’ll enjoy food more as your sense of taste returns.
  • Teeth and skin appearance will improve.
  • Clothes and home won’t smell of stale smoke.
  • Your fertility levels improve.

Getting help to quit smoking.

There are a number of ways you can get support to kick your smoking habit, including from the NHS. If you’re considering trying vaping, get in touch with our friendly advisers who will happily tell you all you need to know to get you started.