Recent figures from the Office of National Statistics have confirmed the perception that more young people are vaping. Its report published last month: Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2022 found that the total proportion of young people aged 16 to 24 years who were daily or occasional vapers in 2022 increased to 15.5% compared with 11.1% in 2021.
Increases in e-cigarette usage were particularly noticeable among younger women with the proportion of women aged 16 to 24 years who were daily e-cigarette users in 2022 climbing to 6.7% compared with 1.9% in 2021. This is the highest proportion of daily e-cigarette usage in this age group for females since data collection began in 2014.
Women aged 16 to 24 years who were occasional e-cigarette users also increased in 2022 to 12.2%, compared with 7.1% in 2021. Occasional e-cigarette use in younger males aged 16 to 24 years increased to 8.7% in 2022 compared with 7.9% in 2021, although this increase was not statistically significant.
Government takes action to tackle concerns about young people vaping
Following the release of these figures the government published its response to its consultation on youth vaping which ended in June. This asked for ideas on ways to reduce the number of children accessing and using vape products, while ensuring they could still be used as a quit aid for adult smokers.
The government’s plans to tackle vaping among young people formed part of its wider proposals to gradually eliminate smoking, “Stopping the start: our new plan to create a smokefree generation“. The proposals followed widespread reporting that it was planning to ban single-use vapes. Additionally. in May, the government pledged to close a loophole that allowed the vaping industry to give free samples of vapes to children in England said dedicated school police liaison officers would be deployed to keep illegal vapes out of schools and announced the development of new resources to educate children about the consequences of vaping.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said then: “I am deeply concerned about the sharp rise in kids vaping and shocked by reports of illicit vapes containing lead getting into the hands of school children.”
Halo Smart Sensor is a vape detection tool
While schools may be hoping that government action to enforce the law may help to curb underage vaping in the future it is important for them to understand the scale of the problem they currently have. This can help schools to provide support to students and deal with troublemakers if this is appropriate.
We offer the HALO Smart Sensor which uses a dynamic vape detection algorithm to automatically learn the environment and alert when vaping is detected. The HALO is also the only product that can alert and differentiate between vaping, vaping with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is found in cannabis, and intentionally masking vaping behaviour, for example, by using aerosols to cover up vaping.
The HALO also detects aggression through monitoring abnormal noise levels and recognised keywords that are used for calls for help. These features could be useful for managing vaping when it is associated with intimidation or other poor behaviour by students.
Therefore, if your school or college is looking to tackle the issue of increased numbers of young people vaping, we can help. Please contact us to find out more.