University and youth vaping "on the rise" as doctors and campaigners voice concerns

Disposable vapes were recently banned by the government.Disposable vapes were recently banned by the government.
Disposable vapes were recently banned by the government.
The number of university students vaping has more than doubled in the past 12 months.

Over half of university students are now addicted to vaping - and at one uni nearly 75 per cent vape, an investigations has found.

Student news site The Tab spoke to over 6,000 undergraduates to find out their vaping habits up and down the country. It says the figures are ''even more shocking'' than last year and ''provide an exclusive look into the changing vaping habits of students''.

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The Tab last year found 27 per cent of students were addicted to disposable vapes - this year the figure is 57 per cent. Exclusive data found that Lost Marys have officially taken over as the most popular vape - with 34 per cent of students saying it was their first choice.

Elf Bars, which dominated uni campuses last year, were the choice of 21 per cent of students.

Of all the students who admitted to vaping, 52 per cent said they didn’t smoke before picking up the habit and 34 per cent said they get through a disposable vape as quickly as one day or night out. As a result, 16 per cent of students reported having health complications since starting vaping with common ones including gum disease, mouth ulcers, constant shortness of breath, coughing and teeth problems.

The results found at Northumbria University 74 per cent of students vape.

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Speaking on vape addiction and offering advice to students who may be addicted, Doctor Babak Ashrafi said: "Similar to regular cigarettes, vapes release nicotine - a substance that releases neurotransmitters like dopamine, which generate feelings of pleasure and reward in the brain. 'Certain electronic vapes can deliver nicotine to the bloodstream more rapidly than cigarettes, making them more addictive.

"Quitting vaping after you’ve become addicted to nicotine can result in withdrawal symptoms. This, coupled with the wide array of flavours available in stores, has played a key role in the increase in vaping we’ve seen in the past few years. For students hooked on vaping, it’s important to ask for help.

"If you’re struggling, talking to your GP or an addiction specialist is a good first step. They can offer personalised plans and medication to help you quit."

Meanwhile, a study by GoSmokeFree found that teenage vaping is most prevalent in the north west of England, with 14 per cent of teens regularly using e-cigarettes. The lowest number of teenage vapers are in London, where four per cent of teens do it on a regular basis.

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A spokesperson for the vape retailer said: "Youth vaping is on the rise. In fact, recent research has shown that the proportion of 11 to 17-year-old e-cigarette users doubled from 3.3 per cent in 2021 to 7.6 per cent in 2023.

"To tackle the rise in underage vaping, the U.K. government is issuing a nationwide ban on disposable vapes, with the legislation hoping to discourage children and teenagers from vaping while maintaining access for adults who wish to go smoke free."

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