Usage and knowledge of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) in young people in Manchester
AffiliationClinical Oncology, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester
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AbstractIntroduction: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are vaporising devises that allow inhalation of nicotine without the need to burn tobacco. They were developed in the early 2000s as a safer alternative to smoking and in 2018 approximately 5-6% adults regularly 'vaped'. Although their promotion as an effective smoking cessation tool in established smokers is increasingly accepted there is concern about their use in young people as they are now available in a variety of flavours, shapes and styles designed to appeal to children who may never have smoked. We wanted to engage with students from our local schools and find out how many had tried e- cigarettes and what they knew about them. Methods: We organised an anonymous paper survey of students age 11-13 (year 7/8) and 16-18 (year 12/13) from 5 local schools. Parental consent was obtained for the younger children as per our ethics approval. Results: A total of 557 students completed the survey. 320 were aged 16-18 and 237 aged 11-13. Very few of the younger children had tried e-cigs (4%) but this was much higher in the over 16s (44%). Their knowledge about e-cigarettes was very encouraging with many students aware the legal age for purchasing was 18, what e-vapour could contain and the controversies around long-term side-effects although the younger children were more likely to view e-cigs and conventional cigarettes similarly. Conclusion: Our project has shown that undertaking research with local schools is achievable even with the under 16s. Regular usage of e-cigs is very low but almost half of the 16- to 18-year-olds have tried vaping. Most students were aware that these products are much less harmful than conventional cigarettes but that the longterm side-effects were still uncertain. These encouraging results should mean that these children can make informed decisions re -e cigarette use in the future.
CitationHarris M, Coote J, Blank M, Girling I. Usage and knowledge of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) in young people in Manchester. Lung Cancer. 2019;127:S71-S.
TypeMeetings and Proceedings