Smoking

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 21 May 2024.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether she has made an estimate of the number of people who start smoking tobacco as a result of using vapes.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

There is no current evidence to show a significant gateway effect from vaping into smoking, and no data to show the number of people who start smoking, as a result of vaping. Youth and adult smoking rates continue to fall and are at an all-time low, although they remain significant. Recent evidence shows that, for many adult smokers, vapes are an effective tool in supporting smoking cessation, especially when combined with expert support. Further information is available at the following link:

https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD010216.pub7/full

However, youth vaping has tripled in the last three years, with one in five children having now used a vape. The health advice is clear, young people, and those who have never smoked, should not vape. We have a duty to protect our children from the potential harms associated with underage vaping, while their lungs and brains are still developing. This is why we are committed to reducing the access, appeal, and affordability of vapes and tobacco through the Tobacco and Vapes Bill, to stop future generations of smokers and nicotine users.

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