The Truth About Vaping

In a recent survey with ASH Scotland, we asked you about e-cigarettes. You told us you wanted to know more about the effects of vaping on your health so let’s take a closer look…

Those of you who attend school were asked how often you see other pupils vape at or around school.

Over 75% of respondents who are currently at secondary school said they see other pupils vape multiple times a day

Disposable e-cigarettes have also been in the news recently with concerns about their environmental impact and how the Scottish Government may consider a ban on disposable e-cigarettes.

In our survey, you also told us you wanted to know about the health impacts of e-cigarettes, so we’ve put together some information to give you the facts.

What are e-cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are battery-powered devices which heat a liquid that becomes a vapour people can breathe in. The liquid often contains nicotine and flavourings.

E-cigarettes are an age-restricted product. This means that, in Scotland, it is illegal to sell or buy cigarettes, including e-cigarettes, on behalf of those under 18.

Are young people using e-cigarettes?

Over three quarters of you who completed our recent survey , and are currently at secondary school, said you frequently see other pupils vape at or around school multiple times a day.

We also asked if you have seen any recent marketing for e-cigarette or vaping products.

85% of you said you have seen advertising or promotion for e-cigarettes in shops.

Half of the respondents said they had seen advertising on TikTok.

There is concern that e-cigarette packaging is targeting young people by using cartoon characters and naming products after sweets.

How do e-cigarettes impact your health?

@young.scot You told us you wanted to know about the health impacts of e-cigarettes so we’ve put together articles on young.scot to give you the facts! #ecigarettes #ecig #Vaping #YoungScot ♬ Lo-Fi analog beat – Gloveity

When compared to smoking tobacco, e-cigarettes are less harmful but they are still health harming products. Although some people who smoked have used e-cigarettes to give up tobacco, no vapes are available on NHS prescription and, as long-term effects on health are not yet known, it’s best that they are used for only a short time.

But what impact on your body do e-cigarettes actually have?

In the short term, e-cigarettes can cause addiction, poisoning, trauma, burns and lung injury.

It will take time to understand the long-term impact of using e-cigarettes, but recent studies have suggested that e-cigarettes can negatively impact heart health, including heart rate and blood pressure. Vaping may also impact lung health, particularly in those who already have asthma or other respiratory health issues.

Are e-cigarettes addictive?

The latest review of worldwide research found strong evidence that people who have never smoked but use e-cigarettes are around three times more likely to start smoking. And there are major concerns about e-cigarettes containing nicotine, which is one of the most addictive substances that is known.

Most vaping products include nicotine, which is highly addictive, as well as toxic e-liquids that have not been safety tested for inhalation and could risk damage to lungs over time.

ASH Scotland

As a young person, your brain is still developing, meaning nicotine can have a negative impact on your brain development.

In the UK, there has been a rise of non-compliant e-cigarettes on the market, some of which have even been found to contain double the legal amount of nicotine.

@young.scot Ruby shares her experience vaping, including the mental and physical effect it had on her, and how she quit. If youre looking for support to quit vaping you can make an appointment with your GP or visit nhsinform.scot/vaping for more info. #YoungScot #Vaping #Addiction ♬ original sound – Young Scot

Where to find support

If you’re ready to quit or just thinking about it and looking for more information, there are many places you can turn to.

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