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E-cigarettes are not gateway to youth smoking - ASH

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E-cigarettes do not encourage young people to take up smoking, a leading health charity has announced. ASH (Action on Smoking & Health) have noticed a rise in the number of 11 to 18 years olds who have tried electronic cigarettes (or vapourisers), but found no evidence that these people are then going on to smoke. Perhaps in line with the general prominence of e-cigarettes, the evidence shows that in 2013, 4% of 11 to 18-year-olds claimed to have tried e-cigarettes “once or twice”, but that figure had risen to 10% by 2015. However, the most compelling discovery from the study was that regular vaping among this age group had remained at 2.4%. The 2015 YouGov survey was undertaken in March of this year, interviewing 2,291 teenagers. youth-vaping Hazel Cheeseman, Director of Policy at ASH had this to say: “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 people are aware of them, this has not led to widespread regular use or an increase in smoking.” Professor Kevin Fenton, national director for health and wellbeing at Public Health England said: “This survey provides further confirmation that regular use of electronic cigarettes is still low and largely confined to young people who are already smokers. “The new law prohibiting the sale of electronic cigarettes to young people under the age of 18 – which is due to take effect on 1 October – 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.”