E-Cigs Popular With Under 15s In Wales

Teenagers in Wales say they're not surprised more young people are using e-cigarettes.

A new study from Cardiff University has found the devices are more common than tobacco in under 15s.

Research shows 6% of children as young as 10 and 12% of 11-16-year-olds have used them.

The key findings were:

  • Primary school children were more likely to have used e-cigarettes (6%) than tobacco (2%);
  • More pupils reported having ever used e-cigarettes than tobacco across all age groups until age 14-15;
  • Overall,  12% of secondary school students reported ever using e-cigarettes, with no differences according to gender, ethnicity or social background;
  • The percentage of 'never smokers' reporting having used an e-cigarette was 5% at age 10-11 and 8% at age 15-16.

Sam is 15 and says they’re easy to get hold of:

“They’re more available now.

“In the markets you can go and buy one or you can buy a disposable one.

“They’re a lot cheaper as well and it’s one thing you can have for a longer time because with normal cigarettes you have to keep buying them.”

Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Ruth Hussey, is concerned that the devices normalise smoking:

“We’ve spent many years now helping to make smoking not the normal thing to do, put restrictions on access to tobacco with children, really trying to help our children grow up in a smoke-free world.

“What we’re seeing here is that e-cigarettes are starting to provide an opportunity for children to experiment again”.

A Welsh Government white paper has set out plans to restrict the use of e-cigs in public places.