A recent study of over sixteen thousand teenagers who fell within the fourteen to seventeen year old brackets has been released, stating that as many as 20% of UK teens have tried smoking an e cigarette.
E cigarettes are regulated for sale in the same way that tobacco cigarettes, with no-one under the age of eighteen being allowed to purchase them and no-one being allowed to buy them on behalf of a minor.
These new findings have stirred up concerns that e cigarettes are to become, if they are not already "The alcopops of the nicotine world" (a quote directly from one of the study's authors Professor Karen Hughes). As a result of this study Hughes and many others are looking for tougher legislation to be introduced, protecting minors from being able to buy, or use e cigarettes or e juice that contain nicotine content.
The concern that many have, aside from the obvious addictive side of e smoking, as e liquids contain in varying levels the very addictive nicotine that is also found in tobacco cigarettes, are the unknown health risks of e smoking.
E smoking, e cigarettes and e liquids are all relatively new products and items to the smoking world, first being designed, produced and sold effectively in China in 2004. The problem that many organisations face, WHO (the World Health Organisation) included is that these products and the industry are too "new".
WHO has so far refused to classify e cigarettes and e smoking in a negative or a positive light, despite the fact that they are happy to show how dangerous to health tobacco cigarettes are. The party line is that until enough studies have been done over a long enough period of time e smoking cannot claim to be the healthier alternative or better than tobacco smoking as such.
This illustrates the unknowns many fear regarding vaping. That is not to say that vaping or that the e cigarette industry feels that it is a suitable habit for teenagers. Indeed manufacturers / producers and retailers welcome the call for stricter guidelines which stop teens getting hold of e cigarettes, despite them already managing to get hold of tobacco with ease it would seem, a product which is already very strictly inhibited to children and teenagers.
The concern is understandable and the e cigarette industry are as keen as the public to keep e cigarettes out of the hands of under eighteen year olds. Marketing and advertising is strictly regulated to avoid the mere suggestion that e cigarettes could be for minors. Retail regulations are in place and of course e cigarettes are not being marketed at non-smokers to start smoking but at tobacco cigarette smokers to encourage them to switch over to the cleaner smoking alternative.
What the answer is to this study is up for debate however the e smoking industry has followed all rules and regulations in place to avoid children getting hold of e cigarettes, the same way it is certain that the tobacco companies and retailers have.