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Is it ok to vape?

Hi Sam, I am 14 (going into year 10) and recently vaping has become a big trend with loads of people doing it (including several of my friends). I really want to join in so I can fit in with them and have fun. I also know vaping relieves stress and can calm you down as I have lots of things going on right now and I just want to escape. On the other hand, I'm worried about all the health problems it causes like heart attacks and lung cancer. I feel pressured into vaping and have often said no as I don't know whether it is worth the health risks. The other day, my friend started talking about her nicotine free vape and said that it had the same effects as the real one except without all the health problems. What are the current laws on vaping and is it legal for someone my age to have a nicotine free vape without health problems. I feel like I can't talk to my friends as they would make fun of me for worrying about it and if I started talking to it with my parents they would get suspicious. Thanks for the help :)

Ask Sam


Hi there,

When people around you do certain things, it can make you feel pressured to also do those things, so you feel that you fit in.

It can be hard to say no and to know where to get the right information. There can be lots of different names used when it comes to vaping products. An e-cigarette is a device which allows someone to inhale nicotine in a vapour rather than smoke.  There are also nicotine-free vapes.

In the UK you must be 18 or over to use or buy vaping products. If someone is already smoking, vaping can be seen as a safer alternative and a way of stopping smoking, but if someone isn’t smoking, it isn’t advised to start vaping. This is because there are some health risks due to the things that can be used in vaping products, including chemicals, and research suggests that even without nicotine, these can cause harmful effects. As vaping is quite a new thing, there hasn’t been any research yet into the long-term impact on someone’s health or their body.

When people around us do things which are risky, there can be pressure to also join in. Sometimes, this pressure may come from other people, or it may come from yourself because of wanting to fit in. It’s okay to make a choice that’s right for you, and this may mean doing something different to the people around you. It can be difficult to say no or to make a different decision from other people, but if the people around you care for you, they should respect your choice.

Learning to be assertive can be a good skill to help you learn to say what you want and how you feel, while still treating others with respect. Being assertive is a skill, and just like any skill, it takes practice and time to learn.

Childline’s message boards are a place where you can speak to other young people about their experiences. When you want to talk to adults in your life but are worried about their reaction, it can be helpful to maybe use a story you’ve heard in the news or in a tv show as a way of starting a conversation about the topic. Remember, you can always talk to a Childline counsellor if you want to practise going over what you might want to say and see how that feels.

Hope this helps.

Take care,


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