Smoking amongst minors has long been a worrying issue. Recent data shows that children now shun cigarettes. Minor smoking numbers have dropped. We look at the numbers and how e liquids and e cigarettes fit into the picture.
Children Now Shun Cigarettes: The Study
A survey of under-age smokers in 1996 found that as many as 49% of participants of high school age had smoked. Some had tried tobacco cigarettes, some were regular smokers. This is a significant number and was concerning to parents and health professionals.
This survey has continually been rerun throughout the years to assess the trend of children smoking. Information such as this is key when putting together public health campaigns aimed at this specific age range.
Updated results in 2016 found that 19% of children were smoking or had tried smoking. This drop is significant. Earlier in 2019, the number of children smoking or having tried tobacco had dropped again to 16%.
Why Do Children Now Shun Cigarettes
There are many reasons that children now shun cigarettes. Public health campaigns have been carefully designed to deal with the issue of smokers of all ages. Awareness about the dangers of smoking has never been higher. The Go Smoke-Free ban of 2007 had a big impact on access to smoking and attitudes towards the habit. Smoking is now banned in numerous public places, from cafes and pubs to public transport, at work and many public areas.
Crackdowns on laws regarding selling cigarettes to or buying on behalf of children has contributed to why children now shun cigarettes. Buying cigarettes for themselves has become harder cost-wise too, with a packet of twenty cigarettes now costing £10 or more. This cost, which gets higher with each Government Budget, is prohibitive to children. Children now shun cigarettes because they can’t afford them.
Overall smoking simply isn’t as cool anymore. The danger to health that smoking provides is something today’s children understand better than children back in 1996 did. The same applies to adult awareness too.
Are More Teens Now Vaping
Vaping is more socially accepted and more widely available in the UK. Despite this, in 2018 reports showed that regular vaping amongst minors was at 6%. This is much lower than the number of underage smokers. The presumption is that fewer teens are smoking because they have turned to vaping instead. These statistics show otherwise.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) CEO Deborah Arnott confirms that those trying vaping out were usually already smokers or had tried smoking. She also states that thanks to vaping not being as super-trendy as in other parts of the world, i.e. America, there has been less take-up here. Vaping numbers amongst teens have not increased. It appears our modern-day teens are more enlightened about their health. They certainly seem to be moving away from tobacco damage and vaping number and not currently rising amongst minors.
Children Now Shun Cigarettes: In Summary
The fact that fewer children are choosing to smoke is good news. The assumption that many politicians, parents, schools and other parties have that vaping pushes children into smoking simpy doesn’t bear weight anymore. If anything it appears that smoking is more likely to be a gateway to underage vaping. Thankfully e liquid retailers are strict about the age regulations and agree with the restrictions.
Children now shun cigarettes, vaping numbers are low and don’t appear to be rising. Public Health England can be assured that the public health campaigns around juvenile smoking they designed have been working. With the NHS advocating for vaping use over tobacco, it seems everyone is on board with the same anti-smoking message. Hopefully, this information will also help to eliminate some of the myths about vaping being a gateway to smoking for minors.