What are E-cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes are not actually cigarettes, they allow people to breathe in nicotine vapour, using an e-cigarette is not smoking. Nicotine is the part of a cigarette that is addictive so people who use e-cigarettes can become addicted to using them but they are not known to be harmful. Many smokers can use e-cigarettes to stop smoking, but people who do not smoke should not use e-cigarettes.

The Law

It’s illegal for shopkeepers to sell tobacco or tobacco products including e-cigarettes to anyone under 18.

Cigarettes must be sold in plain packaging and it is illegal to sell single cigarettes to anyone, adult or child.

It is now illegal to smoke in a car carrying one or more passengers under the age of 18. Cars are very confined spaces and the effects of second hand smokeare felt very heavily by passengers, even if the windows are down. This law protects young people from the harm of second hand smoke. If a person smokes in car where there is a passenger under the age of 18 the person smoking (if they are over 18) and the driver can be fined. More information can be found at here.

Self-care and management tips?

The younger someone starts smoking, the more damage their body will suffer when they get older. Here are seven reasons to quit and eight ways to help you do it. Under 18s guide to quitting smoking

Try this calculator to work out how much you could save by quitting smoking

If you decide to stop smoking you should speak to someone you trust to get their support, this could be a friend, family member, teacher or school nurse.

It is better to stop straight away than to leave it for another month. Things like nicotine patches or gums can help to fight the addiction and can be bought from most pharmacies but do not use them without talking to a pharmacist first to make sure you are old enough and can use them properly.

Who can help you quit?

There is a young people’s stop smoking team that works in certain secondary schools in North Lincolnshire. The schools are:

• Baysgarth
• Fred Gough
• Huntcliff
• The Axholme Academy
• South Axholme Academy
• Outwood Academy Foxhills

If your child goes to one of these schools then they can get support to quit.

Alternatively if your child does not attend one of these schools their school nurses or GP can help support them to quit.

If your child is aged 16+, or if you, or another adult in your family would like to quit, you can get professional support to quit smoking from the local stop smoking service. Smokefree Life North Lincolnshire provides excellent flexible support, free of charge, through one to one appointment or by telephone. 01724 642014.

People who quit with support from families and friends will be more successful, we would encourage groups to quit together to give mutual support. One of the biggest problems that young smokers who want to quit face is going home to a heavily smoking family.