SCHOOL children are using e-cigarettes as a gateway to smoking, according to a new study, led by Edinburgh University.
The research also found that most high school students find the fruity, sweet-like flavourings of e-cigarette liquids attractive.
It was suggested that some pupils use e-cigarettes to hoodwink parents, who would otherwise smell tobacco on their clothes.
Others told researchers that they had seen fellow pupils selling and smoking e-cigarettes in class.
The study was lead by researchers from Edinburgh and Stirling University, and published by the Royal Society for Public Health.
Researchers – led by Dr Marisa de Andrade – interviewed 182 13 to 16-year-old students from seven schools across Fife.
The study said: “In one school, it was suggested that up to 30 students used e-cigarettes and some then went on to use cigarettes.”
Pupils from the school told researchers: “I think that’s why most people go on from e-cigarettes to actual cigarettes, just to see what it’s like, the actual ones, and then they get addicted to it.” Another added that e-cigarette users “might not feel like they’re getting anything from the e-cigs, like a kick from it, they might get a better kick from a fag.”
Others told of the growing popularity of vaping, with one saying “at one point I just saw everyone walking around with them”, “we all had one”.
Another teenager from the same school, even told them “people in the school were selling them”, and told of how they had spotted a pupil even smoking in class. They said: “I thought it was a pen until I saw the smoke coming out of his mouth in English.”
Several of the students also told researchers that e-cigarettes are more acceptable as they do not “leave a trace of smell”.
One said: “Your parents won’t know either because if you’re out with friends and they’re all smoking and that, and you decide you want to have one then they’ll smell it on you.”