E-cigarette use 'rapidly increasing' among young people

Young people in Wales are twice as likely to try an e-cigarette compared to tobacco, according to research from Cardiff University.

Research published in the British Medical Journal Open suggests that youth experimentation with e-cigarettes has grown rapidly since 2013

The study concluded that there was no evidence that e-cigarettes make young people more likely to smoke but warned that youth e-cigarette use may become a public health problem if left unmonitored.

According to the research, older students and male students were most likely to have used an e-cigarette.

Our data suggest that e-cigarette use is rapidly increasing among youth. While there remains no evidence that it represents a new pathway into smoking, a concern for public health professionals and policymakers is that e-cigarettes could be a new route into nicotine addiction for a large number of young people who have never smoked, if widespread regular use occurs.

Elen de Lacy, Cardiff University

The study consulted over thirty thousand 11 to 16-year-olds from 87 different schools in Wales.