Exploring vaping in young people in Merton

5 young people walking together

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 vaping
  • 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.

Our approach

In the initial phase of this project, we carried out insights work to explore the issues around vaping through surveys, focus groups and interviews with young people. We explored their views and experiences of vaping, including why they may choose to vape, and how they are accessing vapes.

We reviewed these insights alongside the current evidence-base and behavioural science approaches to addressing vaping in young people.  We have developed workshops for young people, staff and parents to address vaping. We have also developed resources to aid in discouraging children and young people from starting to vape and in encouraging those who already vape to stop.

Additionally, we are working with young people to co-develop and test a social media campaign to prevent children and young people from starting to vape and helping those who do vape to stop.

Book a workshopKick the cloud VR Code

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.

Further support

For local one-to-one support to stop vaping, you can contact One You Merton at [email protected] or call 020 8973 3545. Alternatively, you can visit www.oneyoumerton.org for more information.

If you would like to learn more about this project or to get involved, please contact us at: [email protected].

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