New data released by NHS Digital reports 18 per cent of secondary school pupils (aged 11–15 years) admit to having smoked at least one cigarette.
The study (Statistics on Smoking, England 2017) found East Sussex to have the UK’s 5th highest child smoking rate at 12.8 per cent with Brighton and Hove highlighted at (14.9 per cent).
This compares to the London boroughs of Redbridge (3.4 per cent) and Enfield (3.5 per cent) were found to have the lowest child smoking rates, closely followed by Slough (4 per cent), Brent (4.2 per cent) and Newham (4.3 per cent).
By analysing data in more detail, Vapourlites discovered 85 per cent of secondary school pupils will smoke just to look ‘cool’ in front of their friends, while 72 per cent feel immense pressure to indulge in the habit.
Charles Bloom, MD of Vapourlites, said: “Statistics like these prove there is a need for more preventative measures and support, in relation to young adults and smoking. Children should feel like they have an alternative outlet, to talk through how they feel and to gain relevant information; providing the tools for individuals to build their own path, away from the lure of addictions like cigarettes. We are yet to surpass smoking as an issue and so often it starts with young people – it would be foolish to overlook it.”