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Electronic Cigarettes

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL938, tabled on 29 January 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what statistics they have about the prevalence of e-cigarette use, particularly among young people; what evidence they are collecting to determine whether e-cigarettes and vaping devices are an effective way to stop smoking; and what action they are taking to ensure that there is full awareness of the health risks of using e-cigarettes and vaping devices amongst young people.

Answered on

11 February 2020

Data from nationally representative surveys indicate that, in England, current vaping among young people remains low and concentrated among those who have already smoked. Among adults, vaping prevalence is 6.3%, with almost all vapers being smokers or ex-smokers. This data can be found in the attached Office for National Statistics statistical bulletin, Adult smoking habits in the United Kingdom: 2018.

Smoking rates continue to decline among both adults and youth. Public Health England (PHE) monitors the developing evidence on effectiveness of e-cigarettes for quitting smoking. A major UK randomised control trial has found e-cigarettes to be twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapy products when combined with behavioural support.

Data from English stop smoking services indicate that people who use an e-cigarette in their attempt to quit have the highest success rates. UK regulation of e-cigarettes includes measures to protect young people, including a ban on most forms of advertising, a minimum age of sale of 18 years and a ban on proxy purchasing.

PHE provides evidence-based information to healthcare professionals, teachers and the public about the relative harmfulness of e-cigarettes, vaping devices and smoked tobacco.