RESEARCH has highlighted concerns about the ways vape companies advertise with increasing numbers of youngsters across Sussex and the UK having tried the habit.

Allen Carr’s Easyway addiction clinics conducted two UK-wide polls earlier this month, with one poll focusing on young people aged between 18 and 21, and the other on parents with children under the age of 18.

Of the 1,000 parents asked, 77 per cent said they are worried about children being targeted by e-cigarette and vape industry advertising.

The research findings showed 61 per cent of the 750 young people asked had started vaping before their 18th birthday.

John Dicey, chief executive of Allen Carr’s Easyway addiction clinics said: “These research findings show that aggressive marketing from vaping brands is working, with more young people trying vaping and therefore at risk of a lifelong, harmful addiction. Parents are right to be concerned about the way these highly addictive drugs are being marketed – not just in traditional adverts in the press and on billboards – but also across social media.”

Mr Dicey said he believes public health experts who embrace vaping are “asleep on the job”.

Allen Carr’s Easyway clinics have been helping people with a range of addictions for more than 30 years.