VAPING has more than doubled among 15-year-old girls — with a worrying one in five using them, figures reveal.
Doctors are “deeply disturbed” at statistics showing 21 per cent smoked e-ciggies last year — up from ten per cent in 2018.
Overall, almost one in ten girls aged between 11 and 15 were using the nicotine delivery devices last year, the shocking NHS Digital figures indicate.
Kids’ health experts are calling for a crackdown on vaping — which, like smoking, is illegal for under-18s — before more younger girls become nicotine addicts.
Dr Michael McKean, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, called for plain wrappers and tighter restrictions on advertising.
He said firms were targeting kids with vapes sold with “bright packaging, exotic flavours and enticing names” on almost all UK high streets.
He said: “These companies are simply interested in ‘hooking’ young people to make a profit off them. There’s no thought or care about their health.
“If action is not taken soon, we run the risk of having generations of children addicted to nicotine.”
Professor Ann McNeill, an expert in tobacco addiction at King’s College London, said: “The rise in youth vaping is concerning.”
She added that the reasons behind the surge must be understood, whether it be “packaging, accessibility, taste or addictiveness”.
The report also revealed cigarette smoking among secondary school pupils was down from five to three per cent since 2018.
The number trying drugs fell from 24 to 18 per cent.