Families across the North West are being urged by trading standards officers to respect the ban on e-cigarettes for under 18s which comes in on October 1.
A recent Trading Standards North West (TSNW) survey of over 7,000 teenagers across the north west showed more than a third had tried e cigarettes and more than half said they had got them from older brothers and sisters or their parents.
Kate Pike, co-ordinator of TSNW, said: “We were shocked to see that so many young people aged 14-17 who had tried e cigarettes were getting hold of them through their parents and family members.
“We know that e cigarettes are safer than tobacco but there are hundreds of different products on the market and currently no regulation of their content. And, at the end of the day, we would not want to encourage children to become addicted to nicotine – such a serious decision should be made by adults in full awareness of all of the facts”
“Ideally we want to see young people avoiding these products. We hope that the new law, which makes it illegal to sell electronic cigarettes or e-liquids to under 18s and for adults who buy or attempt to buy them or ordinary tobacco products for under 18s will help this happen.
“Giving up smoking is the single best thing anyone can do to improve their health and wealth and we would like to see more young people avoid the habit altogether.”
The TSNW survey was carried out across 18 north-west local authorities earlier this year with 7,100 young people aged 14-17 completing the online survey.
Of those 36% (2476 respondents) had tried e-cigs and of those, although only small %s reported buying them themselves from shops, 54% reported getting them from older siblings or friends and 10% from parents.