Children and young people vaping on the agenda for Telford and Wrekin's Health & Wellbeing board

Members of Telford and Wrekin's Health & Wellbeing Board met on Thursday, 28 September, to discuss, among other items on the agenda, joint ways to tackle vaping among children and young people in Telford and Wrekin, as part of the “Children & Young People and Vaping Position Statement”.

Children and young people vaping on the agenda for Telford and Wrekin's Health & Wellbeing board

The Health & Wellbeing Board is a partnership between the council, local NHS organisations and voluntary groups that work together to improve public health in Telford and Wrekin.

The “Children & Young People and Vaping Position Statement” shared at the September’s Board meeting summarises the known risks of vaping among young people under 18 years old and shares key messages to help inform young people, their parents and carers, as well as those who work with children and young people.

Over 1,900 young people in the borough aged between 11-17, are estimated to have experimented with vaping in 2023, a 136% increase compared to 2014.

In terms of regular vapers, the estimate is 600 of 11-17 year olds in Telford and Wrekin vape every day, a rise from less than 100 regular vapers in 2014. 

Cllr Kelly Middleton (Lab), Cabinet Member for Healthy, Safer & Stronger Communities and Partnerships, said: “It’s really concerning that the number of young people vaping has risen significantly in our borough over the past years, as well as nationally.  

“As a council, we are doing all we can, together with local partners, to bring these numbers down.  

“We are supporting all borough schools to educate their children and the school community about vaping.

“Our Trading Standards Team is also taking legal action against anyone selling vaping products to people under 18 years old.”

“The “Children & Young People and Vaping Position Statement”, jointly developed with local partners, re-enforces our commitment to continue to encourage, in particular through schools and education settings, children and young people not to vape and not to smoke - as the safest and healthiest option for them. 

“We recognise that where this is not possible, vaping can be proposed as an alternative to smoking, as an effective tool to aid quitting smoking.

“We will also continue to take prompt legal actions against anyone who sells vapes to people under 18 years old.

“Additionally, we are urging the government for stronger legislation to help reduce the accessibility and appeal of vapes.

“While we are committed to reducing vaping among children and young people in our borough, we call upon parents, carers, professionals and the young people themselves to join our efforts  Here are key points for them to consider: 

1.If you don’t smoke, don’t start vaping. Vaping is not risk free amongst children and young people.

2.If you smoke, vaping can be an effective tool to help you quit. The level of risk from vaping is far lower than smoking.  

3.It is illegal to sell vapes or buy them for anyone under the age of 18.

•If you have concerns that a local shop is selling vapes to people under 18, report them through the Citizens Advice online portal or by calling 03454 04 05 06.

•If you have concerns regarding child exploitation, report them to Family Connect Telford. If a child is in immediate danger, always dial 999.”

To view the Children & Young People Vaping Position Statement, visit the Council’s website.