One in four university students say they are ADDICTED to Elf Bars – as data suggests the number using disposable vapes who never previously smoked may be higher than expected
- 27 per cent of students admitted being addicted to the vapes
- The study surveyed more than 18,000 students across 24 institutions
- 51 per cent said they did not previously smoke cigarettes
- Figures were only recorded from a university if there were 100 respondents
More than a quarter of university students say they are addicted to Elf Bars – one of the most popular types of disposable vapes, a survey has found.
Some 27 per cent of students admitted being addicted to the vapes while more than half (53 per cent) have used an Elf Bar since the start of term in September.
The data also suggests the proportion of students using Elf Bars who have never previously smoked may be higher than previously thought.
Of the students who said they used Elf Bars, 51 per cent said they did not previously smoke cigarettes.
The data also suggests the proportion of students using Elf Bars who have never previously smoked may be higher than previously thoughtStock photo used
A previous study by Action on Smoking and Health found 8.1 per cent of all vapers never smoked before.
The study, carried out by student newspaper The Tab, surveyed more than 18,000 students across 24 institutions via individual university Tab Instagram accounts.
The findings present the most up to date picture of the extent the brightly coloured disposable vapes have taken over campuses across the country.
Oxford Brookes had the largest proportion of students who have used an Elf Bar this year, with 67 per cent saying they have used one since September.
The findings present the most up to date picture of the extent the brightly coloured disposable vapes have taken over campuses across the country Stock photo used
This was followed by Lincoln (64 per cent), Newcastle (61 per cent), Bristol (61 per cent), and Manchester (60 per cent).
Of the 24 universities surveyed, a majority of students had used an Elf Bar in 15 universities.
The universities with the lowest number of students who have used an Elf Bar were Cambridge (26 per cent), Oxford (38 per cent), and Durham (40 per cent).
Elf Bars are the joint-strongest disposable vape you can buy in the UK, meeting the legal limit of 20mg/ml of high-strength nicotine salts e-liquid.
Each vape contains the nicotine dosage of 48 cigarettes.
The Tab also surveyed how quickly students are getting through their 48-cigarette nicotine dosage.
The majority of students appeared to be casual users, with 60 per cent saying they bought a new Elf Bar ‘less than once a week’.
Some 15 per cent of students who use Elf Bars said they buy them weekly, 10 per cent buy them twice a week and 15 per cent buy more than two a week.
This means a quarter of student users are buying a minimum of the nicotine dosage of 96 cigarettes each week.
The universities with the lowest number of students who have used an Elf Bar were Cambridge (26 per cent), Oxford (38 per cent), and Durham (40 per cent). image used
41 per cent of students said they only used their Elf Bar in social settings, compared with 36 per cent who used theirs daily and 23 per cent who said infrequently.
Dr Lion Shahab, professor of health psychology at University College London and co-director of UCL’s Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, said: ‘To some degree, it doesn’t surprise me that increasingly quite a lot of students might be using [Elf Bars] but what does surprise me though, is that a lot of them obviously have never smoked.
‘Up until the introduction of these new disposable devices, I would have thought we were striking the right balance. Use was very low among young people and mainly restricted to smokers.
‘However, in this context, with the huge proliferation of use among never smoking students, I do think that that we may have to pivot a bit in terms of our approach to how we deal with this.’
Elf Bar has been approached for comment.