Churches Should Talk More About Vaping And Its Impact On Young People

Nine out of 10 people would like their church to provide greater support to young people when it comes to the facts about vaping.

A survey conducted by national drug education charity, Hope UK amongst nearly 200 festival goers at the New Wine Christian festival in August found that only 11.5% thought their knowledge about vaping and its risks was good. The majority of parents and carers felt ill-equipped to talk to and guide their children and wanted their churches and local schools to provide better education on the topic.

Around 10% of children and young people aged up to 16 years had ever vaped – which is lower than the national average, at 20.5% of 11-17 year olds (ASH 2023), yet the results paint a clear picture of the impact of vaping on children within the wider church community. Almost four out of 10 parents. said they had seen evidence of possession or use of a vape or suspected their child might be vaping.

Nearly all those surveyed (97%) stated that there should be tighter controls around the marketing and availability of single-use vapes, to prevent young people from getting hold of these products so easily. Whilst the UK government looks at ways of restricting access and use by children, with a possible ban on single-use vapes being considered, the survey responses confirm what we already know – that education is essential if our children and young people are going to be properly equipped to make informed decisions about vaping. As a Christian drug education charity, Hope UK offers bespoke, interactive workshops and sessions for churches, their youth groups and parents and carers, delivered by trained drug educators within their local communities.

The survey also showed that most young people heard about vaping from friends at school – over 70% said that vaping was a problem in their school. The findings echo the concerns of headteachers across the UK who have urged the government to take action in the wake of a reported huge increase in vaping within secondary schools.

Hope UK’s offer to schools includes in-person workshops and lessons on vaping and other substances, as well as lesson plans mapped to the Relationships, Sex and Health Education national curriculum for key stages 1-5. Online training and free e-learning modules, plus professional training for teachers, youth workers and others responsible for caring for young people are also available.

For more information about Hope UK’s in-person and online offer, or to book a drug education session, visit: or contact Hope UK on 020 7928 0848.

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