Almost half of young people in Northern Ireland aged 15-16 report to having used an e-cigarette

The stats were revealed in the Department of Health's Young Persons Behaviour and Attitudes Survey 2022.

A Department of Health report has revealed the numbers of young people who have used e-cigarettes - or vaped - in Northern Ireland.

It found almost half of young people aged between 15 and 16 have at one stage used an e-cigarette, according to new figures released by the Department of Health.

The data was included within its Young Persons Behaviour and Attitudes Survey 2022.

A total of 7,498 children in school years 8 to 12 completed the survey.

Around 95% of respondents said they had heard of e-cigarettes - or vaping - while 21% said they had used one.

Those in older year school groups were found to be more likely to report ever having used an e-cigarette, with 6% of those in Year 8 to 44% of those in Year 12.

The split in e-cigarette used between boys and girls was similar, with around 6% described as regular users.

Since 2000 there's been a consistent decrease in the number of young people who smoke, with only 2% of respondents to the 2022 survey reporting that they currently smoke.

Those who smoke once a week, described as regular smokers, have also decreased from 12% in 2000 to 1% in 2022.

Figures showed that boys were more likely to report ever having smoked compared to girls.

In terms of alcohol, around half the number of young people (29%) reported to having drank alcohol in 2022 compared to 2000 (59%).

Drug use figures in 2022 (4%) didn't show much change between previous surveys in 2016 (4%) and 2019 (5%).

The data suggested that the likelihood of both being offered a drug and taking a drug increased with age, with 6% of those in Year 8 reporting they had ever been offered a drug compared with 27% in Year 12.

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