New research has shown that over a quarter of university students are addicted to Elf bars.
In recent years there’s been a huge surge in the popularity of disposable vapes such as Elf or Geek bars. With disposable vapes being affordable, easy to replace, easy to use and carry on a night out as well as having a huge range of flavours to choose from; it’s easy to see why they’re so popular among students.
The Tab surveyed 18,000 students across the UK about their vaping habits and found that 27% of students said they were addicted to vaping, while 51% of students stated that they did not previously smoke cigarettes.
The government has been largely focused on cracking down on cigarette smoking, by banning menthol cigarettes to discourage young people from smoking them in May 2020 and changing all cigarette and tobacco packaging to be neutral in 2016 with graphic warning photos a legal requirement since 2008. However, this new data suggests that it’s not cigarettes that should be the main focus anymore, as young people are turning straight to vaping instead which can be a lot more deadly.
What are Elf bars?
Elf bars are the most popular type of disposable vape in the UK and one Elf bar is equivalent to the nicotine dosage of 48 cigarettes. While the average person may take a while to get through 48 cigarettes, the survey showed that 60% of students bought a new Elf bar less than once a week meaning that someone who buys 2 weekly could be going through the equivalent of 96 cigarettes per week.
Side effects of vaping
Some of the serious side effects of vaping Elf bars include:
- Tooth decay or tooth loss
- Risk of gum disease
- Substantial lung damage and risk of lung disease or lung cancers
- Vulnerability to developing inflammatory or autoimmune diseases such as Lupus
- Long-term weakened immune system
- Dry throat/mouth
- Shortness of breath
- Bad breath
All of these symptoms are common side effects of heavy vaping, as well as the risk of serious addiction due to the high nicotine count per Elf bar. While disposable vapes are a relatively new phenomenon, this means that there aren’t many current studies on the long-term side effects of vaping, like there are with cigarettes. However, a recent study conducted on mice proved that vaping can cause significant damage to your immune system and leave you vulnerable to lung cancer or lung disease.
With vapes containing more nicotine than the average cigarette, it’s easy to see how long-term vape use could seriously damage your body and immune system, and we’re sure to see more of a crackdown on vaping in years to come.
Universities with the highest proportion of students who vape
According to the survey, these are the unis with the highest numbers of students who vape:
- Oxford Brookes (67%)
- Lincoln (64%)
- Newcastle (61%)
- Bristol (61%)
- Manchester (60%)
Meanwhile, on the flip side, the unis with the least students who vape are:
- Durham (40%)
- Oxford (36%)
- Cambridge (26%)
Of course, vaping is a personal decision, but with 41% of students admitting to only using their vape in social settings, it’s definitely worth reconsidering the risks or cutting down your usage due to the potential serious side effects.