Exploring vaping in young people in Merton
An insights and intervention pilot
On behalf of the Public Health Team at London Borough of Merton, Healthy Dialogues are exploring the issues around youth vaping. We will use the insights gathered from this to develop and test a pilot intervention to prevent young people from starting vaping, and to support vaping cessation.
The objectives of this project are to:
- Identify vaping prevalence and trends amongst children and young people in Merton
- Understand why children and young people start vapin
- Put together a co-produced resources package of support and develop a pilot intervention to aid in discouraging children and young people from starting to vape and encouraging those who already vape to stop
What do we know about vaping?
While vapes are safer than cigarettes, there are still dangers to using them. For example, they can catch fire or explode and using them increases the exposure to harmful chemicals. We still do not know all the possible long-term consequences of vaping.
It is illegal to sell vapes to children and young people under the age of 18, and it is illegal to buy vapes for someone under the age of 18. Despite this, a recent survey by Action on Smoking and Health found that the use of vapes is increasing among young people, with around a fifth (21%) of children aged 11-17 having tried vaping.
Additionally, from speaking to professionals who work with young people in Merton, we are aware that vape use is increasing among young people. Vapes are also thought to be easy for young people to access locally, and are very addictive, which can make it difficult to prevent or reduce youth vaping.
In the initial phase of this project, we are carrying out insights work to explore the issues around vaping through surveys, focus groups and interviews with young people. This will explore their views and experiences of vaping, identify the types of vapes young people are using and where they are accessing vapes.
We will use this insight to provide awareness raising sessions as well as to collate and develop resources to aid in discouraging children and young people from starting to vape and in encouraging those who already vape to stop.
Additionally, we will develop and test a pilot intervention to prevent children and young people from starting to vape and helping those who do vape to stop.
We are currently looking to engage with young people in Merton aged between 11-18 years old to understand their views and experiences of vaping and to test messages for preventing or stopping vaping.
This includes both young people who vape, and those who do not.
Book a workshop
We are offering free workshops for schools and youth settings exploring:
- Information on vapes, and risks to vaping
- Trends of vaping in young people
- Where to go to for support to stop vaping
- Top tips for stopping vaping
- Tips for supporting a young person to stop vaping (for staff sessions)
Click here to learn more.
If you would like to learn more about this project or to get involved, please contact us at: [email protected].