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Home » ASH reports a 50% rise in two years of children viewing vaping as bad, or worse than smoking

ASH reports a 50% rise in two years of children viewing vaping as bad, or worse than smoking

May 2024

John Dunne, Director General, UKVIA, Comments on ASH’s latest research:

“Deterrence is a complex thing. The fact that the number of teenagers vaping has plateau-ed can be viewed as a good thing, but it may be something of a false dawn, in that it is based, at least partly, on a falsehood. New figures out yesterday from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) show that 58% of 11-17 year olds now believe that vaping is as bad, or worse than, smoking,- up nearly 50% over the last two years,  and it is probably no coincidence that smoking amongst children has more than doubled in the last year. Whilst everything should be done to stop children vaping, there is no escaping the fact that it has in the past been directly responsible for a drop in the number of children smoking.

“Despite scare stories in the media, there is also no evidence that vaping is a gateway to smoking for minors as they enter adulthood, in fact the data shows that the opposite is true (Dr Colin Mendelsohn).

“Moreover, the number of adults who believe vaping is as bad, if not worse than smoking, has risen to 50%. In a world where 8 million people are dying every year from smoking, and where the science currently tells us that vaping is at least 95% less harmful, there will be people making the potentially fatal decision to continue smoking. As ASH say in their report, however the Government choose to regulate vaping, they need to ‘reduce the appeal of vaping to children BUT (their emphasis not ours), adults must continue to have access to vapes which can help them quit and stay quit’.

“The Government believes banning disposable vapes is the best deterrent. Only time will tell, but unless they also stop retailers selling vapes to children and police a rapidly growing black market, their crusade against vaping will be music to the tobacco industry’s ears”.

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