Vaping and young people


Some decisions we make when we are young can affect us our whole lives. Know the facts and say no to vaping.

What are vapes?

Vapes are small battery powered devices that heat a liquid to create vapours (aerosols) which the user inhales.

They are also known as e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-liquids, puff bars, vape pens, vape pods or vape sticks.

The liquids in vapes often contain nicotine (which is highly addictive), flavourings and other chemicals.

Vapes come in many shapes, sizes and flavours.

What about nicotine, how bad can it be?

The answer is nicotine is bad news for children and young people!

Here's the thing, nicotine is highly addictive especially for children and young people. It can affect your brain development. Most young people don't think they will get addicted to nicotine but find it very difficult to stop smoking once they start. It's a slippery slope.

Nicotine in vapes can also make feelings of low mood or anxiety worse. The relief felt after vaping is only short term and is part of the nicotine withdrawal cycle.

Do most young people vape?

No. Research shows that almost 80% of children and young people in the UK do not vape. You are not missing out. In fact, by not vaping you are saving money to use on other things, you are protecting your health and wellbeing, and you're helping the environment.

The bottom line: vaping is not for children, young people and non-smokers. If you don't smoke, don't start vaping!

Did you know?

The health effects of vaping can include headaches, dizziness, insomnia, and it can affect your heart rate and blood pressure. Vaping can also worsen symptoms of asthma.

The long-term health effects of vapes are still unknown.

Vapes can be helpful for adults to stop smoking and reduce the harms of tobacco smoking.

Vapes are less harmful than smoking, but they are not harmless or risk free.

Some vapes can contain toxic chemicals such as lead, benzene, nickel, and harmful flavourings.

Some vapes contain nicotine whilst claiming they do not.

Vapes are harmful for the environment.

It is illegal to sell vapes to, or buy vapes for anyone under 18.

You can anonymously report anyone selling illegal vapes or selling vapes to young people to Hampshire Trading standards.

There is free personalised support that's proven to help people with nicotine addiction. Find out more below.

Feeling the pressure? Need to talk?

We all feel stressed and anxious sometimes, but there are better ways to deal with stress than vaping.

  • Talk to an adult you trust like your parent, carer or teacher
  • Free confidential advice and support is available. Chat health offers free confidential health and wellbeing support for young people
  • YoungMinds offers support with young people's mental wellbeing

Need help quitting?

Quitting smoking might not be easy, but you are not alone. We've got you! Smokefree Hampshire is a free, confidential stop smoking service that offers tailored support to help anyone in Hampshire over the age of 12.

Everyone's quitting journey is different, Smokefree Hampshire will help you find what works to help you quit for good, be it online, over the phone or face to face. The service offers personalised support and nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine gums and patches.

You can also speak to your school nurse, welfare officer or healthcare professional about quitting.

Be smart, get help to stop smoking.