Regular vaping among young people remains low in Britain and has plateaued among adults, according to a press note posted on the gov.uk website citing an independent report led by researchers at King’s College London and commissioned by Public Health England (PHE).
The report is said to be the first in a new set of three, commissioned by PHE under the Government’s Tobacco Control Plan for England. ‘It looks specifically at the use of e-cigarettes rather than health impacts, which will be the subject of a future report,’ the note said.
‘The findings show that while experimentation with e-cigarettes among young people has increased in recent years, regular use remains low. Only 1.7 percent of under-18s use e-cigarettes weekly or more, and the vast majority of those also smoke. Among young people who have never smoked, only 0.2 percent use e-cigarettes regularly.’
The note went on to say that regular e-cigarette use among adults had plateaued over recent years, and remained largely confined to smokers and ex-smokers, with ‘quitting smoking’ the main motivation for adult vapers.
Professor John Newton, Health Improvement Director at Public Health England, was quoted as saying that, in contrast to recent media reports in the US, Britain was not seeing a surge in e-cigarette use among young people.
“While more young people are experimenting with e-cigarettes, the crucial point is that regular use remains low and is very low indeed among those who have never smoked,” he said.
“We will keep a close watch on young people’s vaping and smoking habits to ensure we stay on track to achieve our ambition of a smoke-free generation.”
The note said that, despite e-cigarettes now being the most popular quit aid, just over a third of smokers had never tried one. And only four percent of quit attempts through Stop Smoking Services in England were made using e-cigarettes, despite this being an effective approach.
The report recommended that Stop Smoking Services should do more to encourage smokers that want to quit with the help of an e-cigarette.