Regular use of electronic cigarettes by young people in the UK remains rare and is most common among those who currently smoke or have previously smoked, according to the results of a YouGov survey commissioned by ASH.
This is said to indicate that it is unlikely that electronic cigarettes are currently acting as a gateway, something which leads causally to smoking.
From 2013 onward, YouGov has been commissioned by ASH to conduct an annual online survey of young people aged between 11 and 18, called Smokefree GB Youth Survey. It includes questions on electronic cigarettes. The most recent Smokefree GB Youth Survey was carried out in March and April 2016 and relevant comparisons with the results from previous years have been presented in an ASH Fact File.
The latest survey found also that a growing proportion of young people believed that vaping electronic cigarettes was as harmful as smoking tobacco.
And it found that rechargeable tanks and fruit flavors were the most popular types of electronic cigarettes and e-liquids among young people both for experimentation and regular use.
According to the Fact File, in 2016 only five percent of 11-18 year olds said they had not heard of electronic cigarettes, down from 30 percent in 2013.
Twelve percent of those surveyed had tried electronic cigarettes at least once, whereas in 2015 the figure was 13 percent.
In 2016 more young people (19 percent) had tried smoking than had tried electronic cigarettes (10 percent), and 57 percent of those using electronic cigarettes had tried tobacco first.
Regular use (once a month or more) of electronic cigarettes was rare and largely found among children who currently or had previously smoked. Two percent of respondents said they used electronic cigarettes more than once a month, including one percent who used them weekly. These figures were similar to those of 2015.