E-cigarette use among 11-16-year-olds in Wales has fallen for the first time, according to a recent survey.
The study, led by Cardiff University, found that 22 percent of young people had tried vaping in 2019 compared to 25 percent in 2017.
Meanwhile, those vaping once a week or more dropped from 3.3 percent to 2.5 percent.
A 2019 ASH survey of e-cigarette use among young people in Britain found that just 1.6 percent of 11 to 18-year olds vaped more than once a week.
Suzanne Cass, chief executive of Ash Wales, said:
“With e-cigarette usage falling amongst young people, this evidence demonstrates that vaping is not a public health concern.”
Efforts to reduce smoking among young people in Wales have proven less successful, with 4 percent smoking at least weekly in 2019 – the same figure as 2013.
The study also revealed that young people from poorer background were more likely to start smoking than those from wealthier backgrounds.
Rather than focusing on youth vaping, authorities should be ‘addressing the unacceptable smoking levels amongst young people,’ Cass said.
“Sadly, smoking is a lifelong addiction that all too often begins in childhood and we know from our own research that 81% of adult smokers in Wales were 18 or under when they had their first cigarette.”
Suzanne Cass, chief executive of Ash Wales
The survey mirrors similar findings from the US National Youth Tobacco Survey published in September.
Current use (at least once in the past 30 days) among high school students dropped by almost a third, from 27.5 percent in 2019 to 19.6 percent in 2020.
Meanwhile, current use among middle school students more than halved over the same period.
Federal health officials have attributed the decline to public health campaigns and sales restrictions.
A ban on flavoured pods brought in to curb youth vaping has been in effect since January, while outright flavour bans are in effect in New York and elsewhere.