Vaping popularity amongst teenagers and young people.

Almost ten percent of teenagers in the UK now vape, according to a new government study.

Experts are warning that the increase in vaping could mean more people will face serious health problems in the future.

E-cigarettes became a popular alternative to smoking tobacco about ten years ago and many smokers started using vapes in an attempt to quit the habit. In fact, the NHS relies on vaping as part of its stop smoking plan.

But health officials are worried that people are starting vaping, having not previously smoked tobacco, and they are particularly concerned about the growing number of young vapers.

The Mobile Lab shop window, Nottingham City Centre.

It’s thought that bright, colourful packaging and the choice of hundreds of fruity flavours, as well as the fact that vaping is much cheaper than smoking is adding to the appeal.

“We are very concerned about how these products are being marketed.”

Simon Ferris, Public Health registrar, Nottingham

Simon Ferris, a public health registrar in Nottingham, says the marketing of e-cigarettes is a worry.

“We are very concerned about how these products are being marketed and how’re they’re being presented to young people.

“We want to make sure that the message remains the same, that vaping is much safer alternative to smoking, that can be used for people looking to quit, but we don’t want vaping to become a new issue in its own right,” he said.

A study from the Government Office for Health Improvements and Disparities has raised concerns about the popularity of vaping in young people and how long-term exposure to the chemicals contained in e-cigarettes can still lead to conditions like heart and lung-disease.

Graphic courtesy of Allencarr.com

Whilst other NHS studies into vaping have shown that e-cigarettes contain 90 percent less harmful substances than tobacco, the long-term effects of heavy vaping are still, for the most part, unknown, as vaping is still a relatively new habit.

Accessibility 

The sales of disposable e-cigarettes has skyrocketed, according to one Nottingham shop-owner.

Mohamed Robesha, owner of ‘PhoneGeeks‘, in Nottingham City Centre started selling disposable vapes from his shop in August and has seen a rise in demand from young people.

“not a ‘completely safe alternative’ to smoking”

DR. brian fisher, Clinical director, Evergreen Life.

Dr Brian Fisher, a clinical director for the wellness app Evergreen Life, agrees that the vaping could have potential health risks.
“While the research into the effects of vaping on under 18s is still in its infancy, the studies and information that is available point to many potential health risks.
“We need to educate both ourselves and young people on their side-effects,” he added.

The first ever electronic cigarette was developed in 2003, by Chinese pharmacist, Hon Lik, a former deputy director of the Institute of Chinese Medicine in Liaoning Province.

He created the device as a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco.

Hon Lik invented the device after his farther, a tobacco smoker, died from lung cancer.

By the 2010s, vaping had started to make its way into Europe and was slowly becoming popular in the United Kingdom for smokers looking to kick their tobacco habit.

In 2014, the word “vape” was named by the English Oxford Dictionary as its ‘Word of The Year.

Today, around 3.2 million adults in the UK use e-cigarettes.