On the contrary to the alleged alarming US figures reported by the US FDA, the ASH report has indicated that the proportion of under 18s who try vaping has dropped to the lowest level since 2016. The following were the key findings:
“-More than three quarters of 11-18 year olds have never tried (76.9%) or are unaware of e-cigarettes (6.6%).
-Young people vape mainly just to give it a try (52.4%) not because they think it looks cool (1.0%).
-In 2019 15.4% of 11-18 year olds had tried vaping, compared to 16.0% in 2018. This is an increase from 2015 when 12.7% of 11-18 year olds had tried e-cigarettes.
-In 2019, 1.6% of 11-18 year olds used e-cigarettes more than once a week (1.7% in 2018) compared to 0.5% in 2015.
-Vaping is much less common among young people who have never smoked. A large majority of never smokers aged 11-18, 93.8% in total, have either never used an e-cigarette (87.8%) or are unaware of them (6.0%). Of young people aged 11-18 years old who have never smoked, 5.5% have ever tried e-cigarettes, 0.8% are current vapers, only 0.1% vape more than once a week, and not a single never smoker reported vaping daily.
-Children under 16 are less likely to try e-cigarettes than 16-18 year olds. 8.5% of 11-15 year olds have tried vaping, compared to 26.7% of 16-18 year olds.”
In an article on their website, the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) mentioned the report, saying that contrary to unsound alarmist headlines, sadly this report was not covered enough. “The media mostly avoided reporting on the good news that the proportion of under 18s who try vaping has dropped to the lowest level since 2016.There was also little coverage that those who had tried an e-cigarette once or twice in 2019 was lower than in 2015 and that regular use of e-cigarettes amongst 11-18 year olds has declined in 2019 compared to 2018.”
“Disappointing because the media is very quick to seize on any cherry-picked negative news about vaping from a dwindling band of UK public health professionals who still harbour irrational doubts about the benefits of safer products in this country, many of whom centre their arguments around not only a fear of youths using nicotine, but also that this will lead to a gateway into combustible tobacco use. We can only presume the gateway must be remarkably rusty at the hinges for it not to translate into any prevalence statistics that anyone can actually see in real life,” added the charity.
The NNA about Flavour Bans
“The UK boasts 1.7 million former smokers who have converted from smoking to exclusively vaping instead.”
Earlier in the week, the charity also released a statement about the flavours’ saga, pointing out that the proven success of e-cigarettes as smoking cessation tools, would be compromised if e-liquid flavours were to be banned.
The NNA and other leading experts at the Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN) in Warsaw, said that banning flavours from being sold, would be a deterrent to the increasing number of smokers who are quitting by switching to the proven safer alternatives.
“E-cigarettes are a proven safer alternative to smoking. The UK boasts 1.7 million former smokers who have converted from smoking to exclusively vaping instead. Flavours have been a big driver of that success, by distancing smokers from tobacco and providing an incentive to switch, with a wide selection of different options to suit their preferences,” said NNA Chair Martin Cullip, who hosted a briefing at the GFN on the subject.