Tobacco use among teens continues to fall

New research finds anti-smoking trend continues despite the rise of vaping.

A study led by Cardiff University researchers suggests the number of teenagers who said they had tried smoking or thought it was acceptable to smoke has continued to fall despite the rise in e-cigarette use.

The study, published in the journal Tobacco Control, examined data from England, Wales and Scotland, and found that from 1998 to 2015 the percentage of children aged between 13 and 15 who had smoked decreased from 60 per cent to 19 per cent, while regular smokers in the same age group fell from 19 per cent to 5 per cent.

It also reported that the percentage of young people who reported that trying a cigarette was “OK” declined from 70 per cent in 1999 to 27 per cent in 2015.

The report also points out that in the same period there was a fall in cannabis and alcohol use.

Experts say the study demonstrates the success of public health efforts in reducing smoking among young people in the last 20 years and that e-cigarettes have had no impact on this.

The tobacco control campaign group Ash says e-cigarettes have a crucial role to play in reducing smoking.

“We welcome the results of the study and hope this will strengthen the case for e-cigarettes to be considered a highly effective smoking cessation tool and a far safer alternative to smoking tobacco,” said Ash CEO, Suzanne Cass.