The findings were gained through questionnaires completed by around 16,000 teenagers aged between 14 and 17.The divisive subject of e-cigarettes has been thrusted into public debate once again. Though they may be helpful devices that enable existing smokers to reduce the amount they smoke, new evidence shows that many non-smoking teenagers are experimenting with e-cigarettes.
E-cigs are devices that look like regular cigarettes but produce vapour rather than smoke.Though the vapour is less harmful to inhale than smoke, questions regarding the extent of its comparative safety are currently unanswered. Some e-cigarette companies offer the view that vaping is about harm reduction, not new addiction. Many companies provide apps with their e-cigarettes which can be used to track and limit nicotine intake and overall usage. Others, such as the Manchester-based electronic cigarette providers TABlites, stock a vast number of e-liquids in the hope that by offering such an array of flavours, smokers who remain undecided about vaping will be engaged to convert to the less harmful practice.
Public opinion on the devices is split down the middle. They tend to be regarded as either the dangerous devices that normalise smoking or vital tools for quitting. Due to the fact that e-cigarettes are aimed at smokers, e-cig vapour usually contains the addictive substance nicotine. Unfortunately, as opposed to viewing them as smoking equivalents or even cessation devices, it is feared that teenagers are simply viewing e-cigarettes as another drug to experiment with.
One of the dangers of this trend is that teenagers could be exposed to much higher concentrations of nicotine without even realising it, thus potentially creating a new generation of nicotine addicts and, even worse, smokers.