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Russell Group vaping

These are the Russell Group universities where students are most addicted to vaping in 2024

A Tab survey found 56 per cent of Russell Group students are addicted to vaping


Last week, The Tab’s Vaping Survey 2024 found that over half of all university students say they are now addicted to vaping.

Every year, The Tab conducts a survey of over 6,000 university students to find out the drug and vaping habits of university students up and down the country. This year’s shocking results found that 57 per cent of all students say they are addicted to vaping, rising a huge 30 per cent in just a year. The survey data provided an exclusive look into the changing vaping habits of students at UK universities. What they’re vaping, where they’re vaping and exactly how much.

The uni most addicted overall is Northumbria in Newcastle, where 74 per cent of students admitted to being addicted to vaping. At the other end was Sussex where only 35 per cent of students said they were addicted to vaping.

But both of these universities are not in the coveted Russell Group, so which of the Russell Group universities specifically are the most addicted to their Lost Marys? Overall, 56 per cent of all Russell Group students say they are addicted to vaping, but this ranges from 48 per cent to 67 per cent.

So these are the Russell Group university students who are most addicted to vaping in 2024:

18. Imperial College London – 48 per cent

The least addicted Russell Group, 48 per cent of Imperial students said they were addicted to vaping. The most popular vape is Lost Mary and it takes the average Imperial student a few days to inhale their favourite Watermelon Ice.

17. University of Bristol – 50 per cent

Surprisingly low, 50 per cent of Bristol students admitted to being addicted to their vapes, putting at the second least addicted Russell Group. Of these students, 15 per cent of them reported health complications as a result including gum disease chest pain and a constant cough.

16. University of Nottingham – 50 per cent

Exactly half of Nottingham students said they were addicted to vaping. Still stuck in last year, Elf Bars were the most popular in Nottingham students with 42 per cent picking it as their vape of choice.

15. University of York – 52 per cent

Exactly half of Nottingham students said they were addicted to vaping. Still stuck in last year, Elf Bars were the most popular in Nottingham students with 42 per cent picking it as their vape of choice.

15. University of York – 52 per cent

A bit of a dark horse, 52 per cent of students also admitted to being addicted to vaping at Cambridge, consistently named as one of the best unis in the world. Always having to be a bit different and quirky, the most popular vapes were actually Juuls. What in the 2015??

13. Durham University – 53 per cent

Of COURSE Durham is right next to Cambridge, classic. 53 per cent of Durham students said they were addicted to vaping and a big 31 per cent of them opt for an Elf Bar.

12. University of Birmingham – 53 per cent

Also with 53 per cent of students admitting their vape addiction, Birmingham is the 12th most hooked Russell Group uni. Elf Bars were by far the most popular weapon of choice and it is 50/50 for students who smoked beforehand versus those who didn’t.

11. University of Exeter – 54 per cent

Russell Group vaping

54 per cent of Exeter students said they were addicted to vaping. Of these, 13 per cent revealed they have experienced health complications including bronchitis, wheezing and being unable to catch their breath.

10. University of Liverpool – 55 per cent

The 10th most vape-addicted Russell Group, at 55 per cent, just over half of Liverpool students said they were addicted to vaping. Of these, three-quarters of students said they smoked before they picked up their Lost Marys.

9. University of Manchester – 56 per cent

Last year, 33 per cent of students said they were addicted to vaping. This has increased by 18 per cent in less than a year. Manchester has one of the highest percentages of students who said they did smoke before they picked up vaping.

8. University of Edinburgh – 56 per cent

At Edinburgh, 56 per cent of students admitted to being addicted to vaping. 35 per cent of Edi students also said they get through at least one whole vape a day. Lost Mary is clearly an Edinburgh student staple, with it being the preferred brand by 56 per cent, closely followed by Elf Bars which were chosen by 25 per cent of students.

7. University College London – 56 per cent

56 per cent of UCL students report being addicted to vaping. Lost Mary is the most popular brand at UCL and the majority of students say it takes them a few days to get through one vape.

6. University of Sheffield – 59 per cent

Russell Group vaping

Last year, 31 per cent of students at Sheffield admitted to being addicted to their Elf Bars. This has increased by a massive 28 per cent this year to 59 per cent.

5. University of Glasgow – 61 per cent

61 per cent of Glasgow students said they are addicted to vaping. This is a significant rise from last year’s 22 per cent. 29 per cent of students who did vape said they had experienced health problems as a result, including asthma, high blood pressure and constant shortness of breath.

4. University of Leeds – 64 per cent

The fourth most addicted Russell Group uni, at Leeds, 63 per cent of students said they were addicted to vaping. 50 per cent of these people said they did not smoke before they started vaping. Surprisingly, though the most popular vape at Leeds was Elux, with 25 per cent of students citing it as their preferred brand.

3. Newcastle University  – 64 per cent

64 per cent of Newcastle students admitted to being addicted to vaping, and 35 per cent went with Lost Mary as their favourite brand.

2. King’s College London – 64 per cent

As the second most addicted Russell Group uni, 64 per cent of King’s students admitted being addicted to their vapes. The most popular vape at King’s is actually a SKE Crystal Bar, taking 55 per cent of the vote.

1. Cardiff University – 67 per cent

Cardiff is officially the most vape-obsessed Russell Group university. 67 per cent of Cardiff students say they are addicted compared to last year’s 27 per cent of students, a rise of 40 per cent in just a year. Cardiff’s favourite vape is a Lost Mary, with 35 per cent choosing it as their brand of choice.

Speaking on vape addiction and offering advice to students who may be addicted, Doctor Babak Ashrafi said: “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. If you’re struggling, talking to your GP or an addiction specialist is a good first step. They can offer personalised plans and medication to help you quit.

“To kick the habit, it’s crucial to understand what’s driving your need to vape. Talking with a healthcare professional can help you uncover the stressors or mental health issues that are contributing to your addiction. By tackling these issues, you can adopt healthier ways of dealing with stress. Don’t forget about the power of your support network. Mental health counsellors and support groups are there for you. Connecting with them can offer the support you need to beat the addiction.”

If you have had a bad experience with vaping or vape addiction at uni let us know in confidence by emailing emily@thetab.com. 

Related stories recommended by this writer:

The unis where students are most addicted to vaping in 2024, and what their habits are

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• Here’s what your favourite Lost Mary flavour says about you – before they’re banned forever