The 2024 ASH UK Survey on vaping results have been published.ASH results 2024

However you may view the ASH (Action on Smoking & Health) UK organisation, I do enjoy seeing statistics which accurately reflect what is happening with actual consumers. ASH have collected this data since 2013 so it provides a great insight into the vaping and smoking habits of the UK.

The data makes their current restrictive stance on vaping seem unnecessary!

The document follows the policy of ASH UK of being in favour of the now binned “Tobacco and Vapes Bill“.

The survey in question is the ASH Smokefree survey and there are 2 categories – adults and youth.

You can view the presentation created for the E-cig Summit (US) held on 14th May 2024 here.

Also the associated press release from ASH can be found here.

Youth Vaping Rates

The survey data actually shows that Youth Vaping rates are the same as 2023. Whilst that is not the decline we would hope for, it is thankfully a sign that the rapid rise in 11-17 year old vapers has stopped.

Currently the data shows that 7.6% of those who took part in the ASH Smokefree GB Youth Survey in 2024 currently vape. The amount of those smoking in this age group has risen from 3.6% in 2023 to 5.5% in 2024 – which to me is far more of a concern.

ash survey 2024 youth rates

Another concerning statistic is that 58% of 11-17 year olds who took part in the study believe that vaping is “about the same or more harmful” than smoking.

ash 2024 survey youth perception

Is this a good thing? Yes in a way if we want young people to avoid vaping, but on the other hand will these youngsters pick up a cigarette instead?

Adult Vaping Rates

When it comes to adults (those over 18 years of age) – there is an all time high rate of current vapers at 11%. Compare that to the 2.7% of 2013 and 9.1% in 2023.

Although the smoking rate is the lowest since the survey began – it has not reduced since 2021 and remains static at 13%. The highest rate recorded in the surveys was 18% in 2013 and 2015.

ash survey 2024 adult ratesSadly echoing the results in the youth survey – the perception of harm is not good reading.

In fact 50% of adults view vaping as “a lot more, more or equally harmful as cigarettes”. Which is dire and is the highest rating since the surveys began.

ash survey 2024 adult perception

In 2013 only 10% of people thought vaping was harmful. The figure was 39% in 2023 – so the negative press has really worked.

I find this horrifying, if it had crept up slightly I could understand with the widespread upset about youth vaping. But to increase 11% in only one year is shocking.

It shows how the media fear-mongering and the slightly less positive stance from the government has impacted people’s opinions. This also means fewer smokers will consider vaping as an alternative. Which is the really dangerous news here.

Promotion Of Vaping To Children

In the youth survey (11-17 year olds) they were asked if they were aware of vape promotion and where they saw it the most.

The highest response was in shops at 55% – only a 2% rise on the 2023 figure.ash survey 2024 youth promotion

But there was less awareness of online promotion – down from 32% in 2023 to 29% in 2024.

In 2022 31% said they were not aware of any vaping promotions. Sadly this figure is now only 19%. So there might be some work to do to regulate promotion in the UK.

Those who had seen vaping promoted online were asked where they had seen this.

ash survey 2024 where online

The figures show that TikTok seems to be the worst for this. Followed by YouTube, Instagram and then Snapchat.

Underage Vape Access

The next section looked at how those between 11-17 actually obtained vaping products. They could select all sources that apply.

  • 58% said they bought from a formal source – i.e. Shop, Market etc.
  • 52% are given them by a person, friend, family etc.
  • 27% buy from an informal source – such as another person
  • 6.4% said they used other means or did not want to specify.

under age sourcesAgain this does show that more effort is required in better regulation of underage sales.

Procurement Of Vaping Products

In addition to youth procurement, this was compared with how adults obtain their vaping products.

  • The majority of adults – 32% buy from the internet – compared with only 14% of youth.
  • 29% of adults buy from a specialist vape shop – compared to 20% of youth.
  • More youth buy from local smaller shops such as newsagents – 21% compared to the 12% of adults.

ash survey 2024 purchasing

To me this shows that the age restrictions in vape shops and online seem to be working. But smaller vendors, street markets and petrol stations are still allowing underage sales.

Appeal To Children

This is quite a controversial topic for me, as most of the reasons products may appeal to children are why they appeal to adults! I particularly like Sweetie / candy / retro flavours such as Bubblegum and I am 48.

One figure which was interesting was the impact of disposable vapes on youth vaping.

ash survey 2024 disposable impact

This rate rose massively from 2021 until 2023. However in 2024 it has dropped from 69% to 54% in the 11-17 year old category. This was repeated in most of the age groups apart from those over 35 onwards where it has actually increased since 2023.

The flavour preferences were compared between youth and adult vapers and the findings are pretty similar.ash survey 2024 flavours

The majority of adults and youth are drawn to fruit flavours, followed by Sweets, Vanilla, Coffee, Chocolate or Desserts.

Shockingly 17% of adults prefer Tobacco / Tobacco Menthol flavours – which to me are the worst!

Further Contents

The rest of the document examines policy recommendations to reduce youth vaping rates with amendments to affordability, access, appeal and advertising.

The tobacco and vapes bill is investigated along with possible plain packaging and reduction of promotion examples.

Shell Ecigclick Photo
Michelle Jones

My name is Michelle - I am 48 and an engineer and Technical Author by trade. I started vaping many years ago in the days of Tornado tanks, Ego batteries and Variable Voltage. My journey in vaping began again around 2016 and have been interested in the topic ever since. I finally stopped smoking as of June 2019 and that is all thanks to vaping! 20mg Nicotine Salts are my hero! Oh and I am partial to a nice pod mod and Bubblegum e-liquid! I have enjoyed writing for Ecigclick since 2017 and love being part of this great team! My passion for Tobacco Harm Reduction has also led me to becoming a Trustee for the NNA (New Nicotine Alliance) aiding in Advocacy

My name is Michelle - I am 48 and an engineer and Technical Author by trade. I started vaping many years ago in the days of Tornado tanks, Ego batteries and Variable Voltage. My journey in vaping began again around 2016 and have been interested in the topic ever since. I finally stopped smoking as of June 2019 and that is all thanks to vaping! 20mg Nicotine Salts are my hero! Oh and I am partial to a nice pod mod and Bubblegum e-liquid! I have enjoyed writing for Ecigclick since 2017 and love being part of this great team! My passion for Tobacco Harm Reduction has also led me to becoming a Trustee for the NNA (New Nicotine Alliance) aiding in Advocacy

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