Categories: News

Foróige Sligo, in partnership with the North West Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force (NWRDATF) and Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB (MSLETB), commissioned research to understand the impact that vaping products have on children and young people in Ireland through listening to their direct experiences of vaping.

‘What’s the Panic with Vaping?’ research examined the habits and perceptions of children and young people in relation to vaping within a range of contexts including youth groups, post primary schools and their own individual perspectives resulting in almost 1,000 stakeholders participating.

The research indicates that across all age groups there is a link between a ‘cool’ identity and vaping use. It also reveals the perceived social standing that vaping allows some young people to feel among their peers, facilitating a sense of social cohesion. Young people consulted as part of the study felt that the marketing of vapes is inherently youth-orientated and directly targets them, with a “toy-like” attraction and inventiveness of products in terms of flavour, colour, and personalisation.

Other insights revealed by children and young people in Sligo and Leitrim, included:

  • 10 – 12 year olds said that vapes are openly and prominently displayed at convenient local access points such as local shops and/or through their own social groups.
  • 36% of young people between the age of 13 – 16 years said that they currently vape and that they had never smoked previously.
  • “I know that I have an addiction… I just don’t think about it, I know it’s going to be hard to get off them…” admitted Anna aged 17.

Josephine Lally, Community Works Social Researcher, commented “While many studies have amassed substantial medical and scientific evidence of the adverse impacts of vaping, the findings of this research present a stark reminder that listening to children and young people’s experiences needs to be included in future actions in addressing the issue of vaping.”