Digital Native Kids More Likely to Start Smoking Ecigs Than Legacy Fire/Tobacco Devices

By Gary Cutlack on at

A survey into the horrific world of primary school age smoking has found that young kids are more likely to get their first lovely nicotine rush from an ecigarette than the real thing, with six per cent of pupils between the ages of 10 and 11 said to have tried one of today's modern smoking devices.

That compares to just two per cent of kids the same age who've tried one of the old fashioned burning cigarettes, according to stats aggregated by Cardiff University researchers. Digital things are OK, it seems, to a generation raised on Minecraft and sitting indoors instead of playing outside with matches.

It was only in the ageingĀ 15 to 16-year-old population that traditional cigarettes gained traction and overtook the use of electronic cigarettes. And when they enter the world of secondary school, the survey says 12 per cent of all secondary pupils have used an ecigarette, with eight per cent of 15-16-years-olds who said they'd never smoked admitting to have actually had a quick go on an ecig.

The Welsh government's chief medical officer, Dr Ruth Hussey, worries that ecigs are once again normalising cigarette use, explaining: "We should be doing everything we can to prevent a new generation becoming addicted to nicotine, because it is a highly addictive substance and has been shown to impact on brain development." [BBC]

Image credit: Cigarettes and children from Shutterstock