New ASH Youth Vaping Figures


New figures from Action and Smoking and Health show “youth vaping has plateaued while adult vaping is at an all-time high”. If this is true, it means the planned restrictions proposed by the government to combat teen vaping are completely superfluous. Moreover, the tax imposition and the banning of flavours will ruin the appeal of vaping for current smokers.


The latest findings [1] from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH’s) annual surveys of young people and adults find that 11% of British adults vape, up from 9% in 2023. However, rates of vaping among 11–17-year-olds have not increased, with 7.6% of young people vaping occasionally or regularly, and 17% of young people having ever vaped, similar to the levels reported in 2023.


The new data was presented at the International E-cigarette Summit in Washington [2]. It shows there is no “epidemic” of teen vaping and that fears were overblown and unsubstantiated.


The most recent wave of ASH’s surveys were conducted by YouGov in Feb/March 2024:


Adult survey sample: 13,266 GB 18+ adults

Youth survey sample: 2,349 11–17-year-olds

Despite the failure of the data to back up the calls for restrictions, Action on Smoking and Health says: “Despite the apparent slowing in youth vaping uptake, there is no room for complacency. The proportion of current vaping among 11-17-year-olds is still significantly up from pre-pandemic levels (7.6% in 2024 compared to 4.4% in 2019). Exposure to vape marketing remains high among young people; only 19% say they don’t see vapes being promoted. Young people are most likely to see vapes promoted in shops (55%) followed by online (29%). TikTok is where 11-17-year-olds most frequently report seeing online promotion.”


In addition to charting the current levels of vaping among adults and youth, ASH also assesses the level of public understanding about the relative safety of vaping compared to smoking. This year has seen public understanding plunge to an all-time low, with half of all adults (50%) and more than half (58%) of 11-17-year-olds believing vaping is as bad for health, or worse than, smoking.


Given the likes of ASH continually push for restrictions on vape flavours, such findings are hardly surprising.


Hazel Cheeseman, Deputy Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health, said: “The Tobacco and Vapes Bill includes the powers needed to bring youth vaping down and must be enacted swiftly. However, getting adults to quit smoking is important for children’s health too. The evidence has grown that vaping is less harmful than smoking, but public understanding has gone in the other direction.


“It is to be hoped that 2024 can be a turning point and youth vaping will fall, alongside an improvement in public understanding about the role vaping can play in helping the UK’s 6 million smokers stop.”


So, despite the increase in vaping being a temporary blip caused by the covid lockdowns, ASH still want to restrict vaping’s appeal to adults? Action on Smoking and Health says it is a health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco use. ASH receives funding for its programme of work from Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation. With its support of the Tobacco and Vapes Bill, ASH stands to promote smoking to smokers.




The full presentation for the E-cigarette Summit is here:

Full agenda for The E-cigarette Summit here:


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