Electronic cigarette critics seem to focus on the same old arguments over and over. Their favorite talking point is about how ecigs attract children and teenagers. There have been numerous claims that vaping is advertised to attract young people, but is there any real truth to these statements? Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) conducted a series of surveys to find out how today’s kids really feel about vaping. The results might surprise you.
After taking surveys of 2000 kids between ages 11 and 18 in 2013 and 2014, ASH found that it is actually really rare for young people to be regular vapers. In fact, only 1.8 percent of the youth regularly used ecigs and out of that minority group, 90 percent had been previous smokers before they started vaping. Most kids have never even tried an electronic cigarette. While 80 percent of the surveyed kids had heard about ecigs, 91 percent said they had never tried vaping.
It turns out that kids aren’t that interested in ecigs either. The survey data revealed that 90 percent of the young people said they had no desire to try an ecig in the future. So what’s the bottom line? According to ASH, 98 percent of kids have never smoked or vaped. So ecigs really aren’t a growing fad among young people.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said this new data offers a better look at how to address the issue of vaping with kids. “ASH supports the introduction of an age of sale of 18 for electronic cigarettes and stricter controls on how they’re advertised as a precautionary measure to prevent these products being promoted to children,” she said. “However, our survey results should reassure the public that electronic cigarettes are not currently widely used by young people, nor are they interested in taking electronic cigarettes up. The small increases in use that have occurred over the last year are almost entirely among children who smoke or have smoked.”
Ultimately, electronic cigarettes are not luring in today’s children. Despite e-liquids in fruity flavors, kids aren’t that interested in vaping and those that do try ecigs are almost all former smokers that are trying to find an exit strategy. Once again, this new survey just proves that ecigs are most effectively used by smokers that want to quit and that is the target audience for ecig manufacturers.