Electronic cigarettes are not a gateway to smoking for young people, says a new study. Young people are experimenting with cigarettes but the number using them on a regular basis is very low.
It has been claimed earlier that e-cigarettes introduce children to more dangerous methods of inhaling tobacco, but the research that children who are experimenting with the devices are for the most part already smokers.
Around 10 percent of 11-18-year-olds surveyed this year said they has tried e-cigarettes once or twice, which has increased from four percent in 2013. The number of children using the devices at least once a month was low, with just 2.4 percent of children admitted they used e-cigarettes regularly.
Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy at the anti-smoking charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said, "These results should reassure the public that electronic cigarettes are not linked with any rise in young people smoking. Although more young people are trying electronic cigarettes and many more young people are aware of them, this has not led to widespread, regular use or an increase in smoking."
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) commissioned YouGov to conduct the survey, after the organizations worked on a similar study looking at smoking and vaping habits among adults in the UK.
The study concluded that there was no evidence of non-smokers taking up e-cigarettes. Only 0.1 percent of people used e-cigarettes regularly but did not smoke.
A new law which will be introduced on October 1 will ban under-18s from buying e-cigarettes.
National director for health and wellbeing at Public Health England Kevin, said, " The new law will further reduce teenagers' access to these products and will reinforce the message that they are intended for adult smokers who want to cut down or stop smoking".
There is increased awareness among young people (93 percent know about them), a increased number of them think vaping is as harmful as tobacco (21 percent up from 11 percent in 2013). The number of young people using e-cigarettes reflects the number of number of children who are smokers.