Vaping - what you need to know

20.5% of 11 to 17 years olds having tried vaping in 2023

As many people, in a bid to quit smoking, turn to vaping and e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative, more and more people have taken to buying disposable vapes. But unfortunately, it isn't just adults giving up smoking who are vaping, there has been an increase in the number of young people taking up the habit.

20.5% of 11 to 17 years olds having tried vaping in 2023. There has been a lot of coverage in the media lately about this "vaping epidemic" amongst teenagers. Whilst vaping poses a small fraction of the risks from smoking it is not risk free especially for people who have never smoked, such as young people.

In the past year (2023 to 2024) Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards have seized 12,361 vapes and a noticeable amount were above the legal 2 millilitres of e-liquid and some contained excessive nicotine levels. Some that stated they contained no nicotine actually contained excessive nicotine.

Three things you should know about vaping:

  1. In a survey of more than 400 Trading Standards officers, 60% said their main worries were shops selling illegal vapes which are potentially unsafe, and the sale of any vaping products to under-18s, which is illegal.
  2. Vapes make nicotine delivery more efficient. Whilst this is fine for vapes delivering the permitted government levels of nicotine of 600 puffs of e-liquid (equivalent to 45 cigarettes). Some shops are selling illegal vapes containing 12,000 puffs of e-liquid which equates to 857 cigarettes.
  3. The disposable nature of vapes is very evident on our high streets with brightly coloured canisters littering our towns. Nearly 5 million disposable vapes are thrown away every week. Please dispose of your vapes thoughtfully.
    • Only place filters and canisters in your rubbish bin. Electrical parts should not be put in your rubbish bin.
    • Recycle e-cigarette batteries by putting them in a small bag together with other household batteries on top of your bin each week or take them down to your local community recycling centre.
    • Some e-cigarette manufacturers or vaping shops may take e-cigarettes back for recycling.

For more information on the sale of age restricted products visit the Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards webpages for more information.

Help with stopping smoking

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. There is help and advice from NHS services and other handy tips to help you stop smoking on the Healthy Surrey Stop Smoking Support web pages.

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