Latest news

  • Home
  • News
  • Bolton school nurse explores how to tackle growing trend of teenage vaping
March 28, 2024

Bolton school nurse explores how to tackle growing trend of teenage vaping

Katie Gibson in her graduation gown outside a university on a sunny day.

A school nurse from Bolton has explored how public health workers can help tackle the trend of rising numbers of teenagers choosing to use e-cigarettes, in a new publication for the British Journal of Child Health.

Figures from a survey carried out by the charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) reveal 7% of young people aged 11-17 used e-cigarettes in 2022, up from 3.3% in 2021.

Katie Gibson, a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, has written about how the issue has become a key concern for school nurses and the need to explore ways to urgently address it.

Having now been on the market for more than a decade, they were initially intended to support smokers away from cigarettes, or to permanently quit.

Katie’s research paper identifies three key themes to improve understanding around why more young people are choosing to vape:

  1. Reasons for vaping: including the availability in shops, the variety of flavours, and advertising.
  2. Attitudes towards vaping: perceived to be less harmful that cigarettes or not harmful at all.
  3. Current approaches: how school nurses can advocate for education and support.

Katie said:

We’re seeing growing evidence about the harmful effects of e-cigarettes in teenagers and young people, with some suggestions it may even increase their chances of becoming cigarette smokers.

“We know that many teenagers find the flavors and visual marketing of vapes appealing and have a lack of understanding about dangers they can have on their health and wellbeing.

“As school nurses we’re always looking for ways to increase education and raise awareness and this paper goes some way to as to how we can ensure vaping cessation can be even more of a health priority in our work.

The paper makes a number of recommendations to support school nurses in their work to support young people.

They include focusing on the delivery of education and support groups within school settings, updating toolkits and guidelines for public health nurses to include vaping cessation as a similar priority to smoking, ensuring information on vaping is widely available by the NHS, and building resilience and coping strategies for young people during periods of high stress to discourage turning to vaping.

Katie’s paper can be read in full on the British Journal of Child Health’s website.

Skip to content