Research shows most children do not regularly use e-cigarettes

June 15, 2015
Research shows most children do not regularly use e-cigarettes

Children aged 11 to 16 who have never smoked do not regularly use e-cigarettes, according to new Cancer Research UK data being presented today (Friday) at the UK Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Conference  and will be published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research .

The findings reflect earlier research which shows that regular use of is extremely rare among young non-smokers.

Of the 1,205 children aged 11-16 who took part in the new UK-wide survey, 12 per cent reported that they had tried an e-cigarette. Figures for regular use were lower with two per cent reporting e-cigarette use more than monthly and one per cent more than weekly.

Regular e-cigarette use was found only in children who also smoked . Experimental e-cigarette use among non-smoking children was low at three per cent. 

The Youth Tobacco Policy Survey – funded by Cancer Research UK has studied 's attitudes to tobacco and since 1999. The survey in August and September 2014 was the first time questions on were included. 

Earlier research has also shown there are around 2.6 million adults who use e-cigarettes in the UK , compared to around 10 million people who smoke .

Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK scientist at the University of Stirling , said: "There's a common perception that the rise we've seen in the use of electronic cigarettes will lead to a new generation of adults who have never smoked but are dependent on nicotine. This fear is based on the expectation that due to the appeal of the products, children who have never used tobacco will be attracted to e-cigarettes and start to use them regularly. 

"Our survey is in line with others in the different parts of the UK that show this is not happening. Young people are certainly experimenting with e-cigarettes, some of which do contain nicotine. However, our data show that at the moment this experimentation is not translating into regular use."

Alison Cox, director of cancer prevention at Cancer Research UK, said: "These data on electronic cigarette use in youth suggests that e-cigarettes are not serving as a gateway to tobacco. It's reassuring that rates of smoking in young people are continuing to fall at a time when e-cigarette use has been rising. 

"A number of questions remain about these products, and it's important that we continue to closely monitor trends and patterns of use. This is why Cancer Research UK is investing in further research into e-cigarettes."

Explore further: More than two million now regularly using electronic cigarettes in Britain

Related Stories

Many teens try e-cigs, but few become regular users

April 15, 2015

E-cigarettes are popular with teens, including those who have never smoked, but few of those who try them become regular users, while most of those who do so are also smokers, finds research published in the online journal ...

Electronic cigarettes gaining in popularity among teens

April 26, 2015

Teens no longer smoke just cigarettes. They have branched out to using alternative tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes, hookahs and little cigars. In fact, e-cigarette use is rising rapidly among both cigarette ...

Recommended for you

Bright lighting encourages healthy food choices

May 26, 2016

Dining in dimly lit restaurants has been linked to eating slowly and ultimately eating less than in brighter restaurants, but does lighting also impact how healthfully we order?

Big Data can save lives, says leading cancer expert

May 16, 2016

The sharing of genetic information from millions of cancer patients around the world could be key to revolutionising cancer prevention and care, according to a leading cancer expert from Queen's University Belfast.

New soap to ward off malaria carrying mosquitoes

May 13, 2016

(Medical Xpress)—Gérard Niyondiko along with colleagues Frank Langevin and Lisa Barutel has posted a project on the crowd source funding site ulule for a product called Faso Soap. They claim the soap can cut in half the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.