Blackburn with Darwen youth MP fears rise in teenage e-cig smokers
12:55pm Wednesday 18th September 2013 in News
A YOUTH MP voiced his concerns after a survey suggested use of e-cigarettes among teenagers has more than doubled.
Harry Bithell, youth MP for Blackburn with Darwen, said the results of an American study, which found twice the number of high school students had taken up the habit, were ‘worrying’, and should encourage action to discourage their use in the UK.
The study, carried out by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, found an average of 10per cent of teenagers, or 1.78million students, used the product in 2012, up from 4.7per cent in 2011.
Researchers also found that 130,000 students who had tried e-cigarettes had never tried a conventional cigarette.
An early study taken in the UK by health charity ASH, which does not have comparable figures, also suggested that one in ten 16 to 18-year-olds who had heard of e-cigarettes had tried them ‘once or twice’, with only one in 100 using them more than once a week. It also suggested only 1per cent who had never smoked had tried e-cigarettes.
Mr Bithell said: “Even though this was a US study, it seems plausible that the same results could be found in the UK.
“At my college there are quite a few people who now use e-cigarettes, some of whom I don’t think smoked before because I think they find them more socially acceptable.
“I think that while further research is still needed into these products, young people should be warned against their use until we know their long- term effects.”
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “Looking at this survey, the number of young people using e-cigarettes regularly is still tiny, even in the US.
“Most who do are already smoking cigarettes, which is of much greater concern than their e-cigarette use.”
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