Members Club Exclusive Early Magazine VAPOUROUND-MAGAZINE-ISSUE-22-WEB-compressed - Page 25

“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.” – Public Health England Young people in Britain may not be vaping at such a rate as some previously thought. That’s according to a recently published independent report led by researchers at King’s College London, commissioned by Public Health England (PHE). The report is the first in a series of three commissioned by PHE under the Government’s Tobacco Control Plan for England. It examined the use of e-cigarettes rather than health impacts of vaping. Among the findings, the report shows regular e-cigarette use among adults has plateaued over recent years. It also shows vaping as a practice remains largely confined to smokers and ex-smokers, with ‘quitting smoking’ cited as the main motivation for adult vapers. Whilst many online reports in mainstream media claim British teens are going the way of American high schoolers, the findings from King’s College London 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, according to the report. While underage use of e-cigarettes is never recommended, this study purports the buzz around this issue in the media might be hyperbole at this current stage. In a press release, Professor John Newton, Health Improvement Director at PHE said: “In contrast to recent media reports in the US, we are not seeing a surge in e-cigarette use among young people in Britain. “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. “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.” Professor Ann McNeill is Professor of Tobacco Addiction at King’s College London. She was also the lead author of the report, and she said: “We are encouraged that regular vaping among young people in Britain who have never smoked remains low. However, we need to stay vigilant and in particular closely monitor youth smoking. “With just over a third of adult smokers having never tried an e-cigarette, there is a clear opportunity for more smokers to try a method which has helped many others to quit. Smokers should be advised to stop smoking as soon as possible and explore all available options for support, including e-cigarettes.” This first PHE report in conjunction with the Tobacco Control Plan for England recommends that Stop Smoking Services should do more to encourage smokers that want to quit with the help of an e-cigarette. PHE says smoking rates in young people have plateaued in recent years, while smoking rates among adults “continue to fall, with just under 15 percent of adults in England smoking,” according to government figures. Meanwhile a major UK clinical trial, published recently found e-cigarettes may be twice as effective in smoking cessation than conventional methods such as patches or gum, when combined with face-to-face support. VM22 | 25