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Concern as ‘third of teenagers’ have tried vapes

Health and Mental Health

Concern as ‘third of teenagers’ have tried vapes

Today it was revealed in an exclusive Good Morning Britain survey that a third of teenage respondents between the ages of 11-17 have tried vaping.

Former teen boxer, Ewan Fisher, warned other young people of the health risks of vaping and shared that he “nearly died” aged 16 because his lungs were so badly damaged as a result. He told hosts Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard: “I’d say to teenagers, just please don’t do it.”

Ewan added: “I nearly lost my life. I lost my career. My whole life changed really. And it doesn’t just affect you. It affects all [of] your family and those around you.” He also called on shop owners selling vapes to underage children to stop, adding: “If a shop is caught doing it they should really be shut down or hit with a hefty fine.” 

Ewan moved from cigarettes to vaping because he was struggling to kick the habit, believing that vaping was a healthier option when he was keen to follow his boxing career. But after falling ill, he was told he had the lungs of an 80 year-old and even had one replaced with an artificial lung.

Good Morning Britain’s exclusive poll revealed that over one-third of young people between the ages of 11 and 17 admitted to trying vaping and of those, a third shared that they had tried it before the age of 13. The survey also found that almost half of those who vape do it regularly (49%), and over half admitted to vaping 3-6 times a week (52%), or multiple times a day (23%).

GMB heard anonymously from children as young as 12 and 14, who had been enticed by vapes.  One 15 year-old told the programme: “Some shopkeepers will tell you to go outside but then they’d get one of their other shop keepers to give it to you outside.”

Another added that the youngest person they had seen vaping was just eight years old. Speaking about the appeal, she added: “It’s the colours. They are very bright and obviously  they probably relate it [vapes] to a toy or something.” Sending a stark warning to other young people continuing vaping, Ewan said: “At the end of the day, don’t give in to peer pressure. Your friends aren’t going to be able to help if you can’t walk or breathe.” Adding that he wasn’t fully recovered: “And I don’t think I ever will.”

Ewan Fisher, warned other young people of the health risks of vaping

Fact File
  • 37% of one thousand children aged between 11-17 say they have tried vaping.

  • A third of those who have tried vaping (34%) did so before the age of 13

  • Three in five children (64%) believe vaping is healthier than smoking cigarettes, but 61% are concerned about the future health implications of being vapers.

  • Almost half (49%) of children who admitted currently vaping are doing it on a regular basis, with 52% of those vaping 3-6 times a week, and 23% multiple times a day

  • When looking at where young people are buying vapes the top three places are: From friends (27%), Local shops (21%) and Specialist shops (21%)

  • For the young people who admitted vaping, the top three locations to vape are at home in their bedrooms (46%), a third (34%) vape in school toilets and 28% vape in the playground

  • Three in ten (32%) of those who have admitted to vaping have resold vapes at school

  • When asked where they get vapes from, the top three answers were friends, (27%), local shops (23%) and specialist vaping shops (21%)

  • 74% admitted that they worry about the potential future health impacts of vaping

  • Nearly three-quarters of those who have admitted vaping (73%) said they had considered stopping vaping

  • 63% of children said they were concerned about the environmental impact of disposable vapes

Source: One Poll  Sample size: 1000 young people (11-17) were polled between 17th – 22nd August 2023

Good Morning Britain weekdays from 6am on ITV1 & ITVX

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