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Information gathering on youth vaping

The government is asking for feedback to identify how to reduce the number of under 18s accessing and using vape (ecigarette) products, while still making sure that adults can access them to help stop smoking. Help us to develop a County Durham response.

Thank you to everyone who provided information. We received 29 individual responses, but also information back from key partners as part of our Tobacco Control Alliance, our local councillors and the County Durham Youth Council. These have been collated and sent to the government as part of their consultation. The main areas were about: 

  • affordability of vapes
  • advertising and branding of vapes including online advertisement
  • accessibility of vapes
  • appeal of vapes to children


In the UK, vapes can be legally sold to anyone over the age of 18.

The government encourages adult smokers to switch to vapes as they are substantially less harmful than smoking. However, if you do not smoke then you should not vape, vapes should not be used by people under the age of 18.

There is well established concern about the harms of vaping, specifically for younger people.

Over the last 10 years, use of vapes by children has been consistently low. However, recent data shows that regular vape use is increasing in children, however, the overall rates are still low with only 3.6% of children stating that they vape more than once a week. The 2023 Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) report Ash: Use of e-cigarettes among young people in Great Britain also shows an increase in experimentation of using vapes by 50% between the years 2022 and 2023.

What's happening now

The government are now gathering information from the public around youth vaping, on seven key themes:

  1. Building regulatory compliance: ensuring only adult smokers can access legally compliant vape products.
  2. The appeal of vape products: how the appearance and product characteristics of vapes may attract children.
  3. Marketing and promotion of vape products: how the marketing and promotion of vapes may attract children.
  4. The role of social media: the impact of social media on the uptake and use of vaping by children.
  5. Effective educational approaches to prevent the uptake of vaping by children.
  6. The impact of vapes on the environment, particularly disposable products.
  7. Understanding the vape market.

A County Durham response

We have used this opportunity to give evidence and provide a combined response by gathering the views of residents and organisations in County Durham. This response was submitted to government on 6 June 2023. Updates following from this will be shared on this page. 

Have your say

Our survey closed for comments at 5.00pm on Tuesday 30 May 2023.

Next steps

We will collate your comments and submit a County Durham response to the government by 6 June 2023.

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