Fewer than half of students at the University of Sussex say they are addicted to vaping – but figures are still on the rise.

Some 35 per cent of the university's students said they used disposable vapes.

The number is still much higher than last year’s average when just over a quarter of students said they were regularly vaping.

University of Sussex students are below the national average for vape addiction. More than half of 6,000 students across the UK surveyed by The Tab said they were addicted to the smoking alternative, compared with 27 per cent last year.

Dr Babak Ashrafi, a former GP and clinical lead at Superdrug, said: “Similar to regular cigarettes, vapes release nicotine, a substance that releases neurotransmitters like dopamine, which generate feelings of pleasure and reward in the brain.

''Certain electronic vapes can deliver nicotine to the bloodstream more rapidly than cigarettes, making them more addictive.

“Quitting vaping after you’ve become addicted to nicotine can result in withdrawal symptoms.

''This, coupled with the wide array of flavours available in stores, has played a key role in the increase in vaping we’ve seen in the past few years. For students hooked on vaping, it’s important to ask for help.”

More than £17,000 worth of illegal vapes and tobacco products were seized in Brighton in November.

Some of the disposable vapes were equivalent to more than 480 cigarettes' worth of nicotine.

All legally sold vaping devices need to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency and must not exceed 20mg/2 per cent of nicotine concentration and 2ml in capacity - around 600 puffs.

Brighton and Hove City Council has raised concerns that the vapes may contain higher doses of nicotine and dangerous chemicals including lead, tin and nickel.

It also said the single-use nature of vapes poses an environmental hazard.