The use of e-cigarettes has been rising in the UK, particularly by young people. This study investigated behaviours, attitudes and beliefs about e-cigarettes amongst 15–30-year-olds in the UK.
An online survey was administered to a sample of 1009 15–30-year-olds in the UK.
About one in five participants currently used e-cigarettes at least monthly, with 1 in 10 using them daily. Amongst those using e-cigarettes at least monthly, 90% had used e-cigarettes containing nicotine. E-cigarettes were mainly obtained from vape shops and used at home. Having friends who used e-cigarettes and using them to help quit/reduce smoking were the most common reasons for vaping. About half of participants had been exposed to e-cigarette advertising, especially online, and warning labels on e-cigarettes. Most participants agreed that e-cigarettes are addictive (75%), help people quitting smoking (64%) and are bad for health (63%). Previous or current tobacco smokers were 9 and 22 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than never smokers, respectively. Perceiving e-cigarettes as harmful was associated with a 40% lower likelihood of use.
Raising awareness on the uncertain long-term consequences of vaping and regulation of marketing and sales are crucial to protect young people in the UK.