Survey has been conducted to examine what leads to vape addiction in teenagers and one of the prime reasons tells us about the influence of parents who smoke.
Vapes or e-cigarettes do not contain the dangerous tobacco inherent in typical cigarettes but they do contain nicotine – the ingredient that keeps people addicted to smoking.
Disposable vapes, which are colourful and available in a host of sweet flavours, are growing in popularity among teenagers.
Teen vaping has increased dramatically recently, and many think it’s a safe activity. Students in high school who vape are exposed to nicotine, a highly addictive chemical contained in tobacco, through this practise. While vaping can help adults overcome their addiction to nicotine, young people frequently start off vaping before switching to cigarettes.
Young people’s addiction to vaping may last for years.
Although it may be true that vaping is less harmful than smoking cigarettes since the vaped aerosols contain fewer carcinogenic and toxic substances than cigarette smoke, the vaping aerosol is not safe. Youth who vape are more likely to try cigarettes later, which is harmful.
When nicotine liquid is heated to high temperatures, other harmful compounds, such as formaldehyde, also develop in addition to nicotine.
The survey conducted has suggested:
vaping among 15-year-old females grew from 10% in 2018 to 21%.
girls are more likely to vape than boys at all ages – 10% of girls aged 11-15, compared with 7% of boys.
61% of pupils who use vapes obtain them from other people, mostly friends.
Up from 29% three years ago, 57% now purchase them from a store, primarily a newsagent.
In the UK, it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes or vapes to children, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency must register any vaping product sold that contains nicotine (MHRA).
Trading Standards recently informed BBC News that thousands of unregulated vaping products with potentially harmful ingredients were flooding the market.
And a BBC Radio 5 Live investigation uncovered vapes being marketed illegally to minors in Newcastle.
Experts in child health want laws tightened so that vapes can only be promoted as a tool for quitting smoking rather than as a colourful and pleasant lifestyle item.
Dr Mike McKean, from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said he was “deeply disturbed” by the rise of vaping in children and young people.
“E-cigarettes are still a relatively new product, and it is still unknown what their long-term effects will be,” he said.
It is obvious that e-cigarette companies are going after kids and teenagers with their colourful packaging, exotic flavours, and alluring names.
It was time for the UK government to introduce plain packaging – of e-cigarettes, as well as nicotine and non-nicotine e-liquids packs, Dr McKean said.
Teenagers with smoking parents are 55% more likely to try electronic cigarettes, per study presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Barcelona.
The number of Irish youths who have tried e-cigarettes has been sharply rising, according to a sizable survey conducted by the researchers.
The researchers draw attention to the dangers of nicotine addiction and demand more regulation to safeguard kids and teenagers.
With information on more than 10,000 Irish teenagers, aged 16 to 17, the team also combined several Irish data sets to provide the most thorough analyses of teen e-cigarette use in Ireland. They looked at the overall numbers of teenagers who try or regularly use e-cigarettes as well as how this is changing over time.
This indicated a rise in the percentage of people who had tried e-cigarettes, from 23% in 2014 to 39% in 2019.
Teenagers said they first used e-cigarettes out of curiosity (66%) and because their friends were vaping (29 per cent). Just 3% of people stated they wanted to stop smoking.
When they first tried e-cigarettes, 68 percent of them indicated they had never used tobacco, up from 32 percent in 2015.
“We have observed rising usage of e-cigarettes among Irish youths, and that’s a pattern that is occurring everywhere in the world,” said Professor Luke Clancy, director general of TFRI.
According to our research, kids who typically haven’t tried cigarettes before e-cigarettes don’t fit the stereotype that vaping is a superior option to smoking. This suggests that vaping is more likely to lead kids into nicotine addiction than away from it. Clancy continued.
In order to determine whether there were any disparities between boys and girls, the researchers carefully examined the data on 3,421 16-year-old youths. The researchers discovered that whereas boys were more likely to try or use e-cigarettes, girls’ rates were rising more swiftly.
Only 23% of females acknowledged to trying e-cigarettes in 2015; by 2019, that number had risen to 39%. In 2015, only 10% of girls reported using e-cigarettes today. By 2019, that number had increased to 18%.
Researchers discovered that teenage usage of e-cigarettes, more so for males than girls, was significantly influenced by having peers who smoke and having less parental supervision.
Salome, a doctoral researcher, said: “It’s significant that parents and friends have an impact on whether or not kids decide to consume e-cigarettes since these are characteristics that we can work to improve.
“However, governments must do their share by enacting legislation to safeguard children and teenagers. The same needs to be done with vaping as we do with smoking, Salome continued.
According to lead researcher Joan Hanafin, “We need to continue keeping an eye on the situation because we can observe that the number of youngsters smoking e-cigarettes is fluctuating quickly. In order to comprehend how social media affects both girls’ and boys’ vaping behaviour, we also intend to examine it.
The head of the European Respiratory Society’s Tobacco Control Committee, Professor Jonathan Grigg, who was not involved in the study, states, “These findings are concerning for families everywhere, not just for teenagers in Ireland.
“We already know that children of smokers are more prone to start smoking themselves. According to this study, youngsters who start using e-cigarettes and develop a nicotine addiction are also influenced by their parents’ smoking habits.
Grigg continued, “According to this research, more and more kids are trying e-cigarettes, but not so they can stop smoking. We know that e-cigarettes are not harmless, therefore this is crucial.
We are learning that e-cigarettes can harm the lungs, blood vessels, and brain. The effects of nicotine addiction are well known. He continued, “We need to do more to safeguard kids and teenagers from these risks.