Vaping: The facts

Don't smoke? Don't start to vape. With raphic of 3 different shapes vapes.

Recent figures suggest the number of Kent’s children who smoke is continuing to decline. However, there has been an increase in the number of children and young people who are currently using vapes and e-cigarettes.

In the UK, the proportion of 11 to 17-year-olds that are currently vaping has increased from 4% in 2020 to 7% in 2022.

Although this is a cause for concern, it’s worth noting that 92% of under 18s who have never smoked, have also never vaped, and only 2% have vaped more frequently than once or twice.

Most youth vaping is experimental and most young people who vape have already tried smoking, which is far more harmful and is highly addictive.

We are working with schools and health partners across Kent to make children and young people aware of the facts about vaping.

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Vaping: The facts - video transcript

The key facts

  • Uptake of smoking and vaping in young people is most common among older teenagers, although it can occur earlier.
  • Vapes are significantly less harmful than smoking and tobacco, but they are not harmless.
  • Vapes are not recommended for use by children and young people, or anyone who has never smoked, as vaping is not risk free.
  • Short term effects of coughing, dizziness, sore throats and headaches have been recognised, and the long-term effects are not yet known.
  • Vapes and vaping products which contain nicotine are age restricted and shouldn’t be sold or bought for under 18s.
  • Disposable single use vapes harm the environment, with many hard-to-recycle disposable vapes finding their way into landfill, where they break down and release dangerous chemicals

The overall message to children and young people is: Don’t smoke? Don’t start to vape.