A “smokefree strategy” targeting nicotine addiction among young people in Bradford is being developed, the Council has said.

The plan is being devised alongside the local authority’s partners in health, education, and law enforcement.

The strategy will also look at “clamping down on those who are illegally supplying nicotine products to children”.

It comes after the World Health Organisation (WHO) examined data from 280,000 children aged 11, 13 and 15 from 44 countries who were asked about their use of cigarettes, vapes and alcohol.

In one of the largest studies of its kind, it showed the UK seems to have more of an issue with under-age vaping than many other countries.

Girls in the UK are more likely to have used a vape by the age of 15 than the average for all countries in the study. 

Vaping has also overtaken smoking, the study showed.

Girls aged 13 and 15 in the UK tend to be drinking, smoking and vaping more than boys across a broad pattern of behaviour.

Children aged 11 and 13 in England are the most likely to have ever drunk alcohol compared with youngsters in all the other countries surveyed.

Compared with other European countries, rates of drunkenness in the UK were high, particularly among girls.

At the age of 11, England tops the global chart, with 34 per cent of girls and 35 per cent of boys saying they have drunk alcohol.

By 13, 57 per cent of girls and 50 per cent of boys in England have drunk alcohol – again topping the global chart.

Dr Jo Inchley, international co-ordinator for the study, called Health Behaviour In School-Aged Children, and from the University of Glasgow, said: “Our levels are higher than elsewhere in Europe and it looks like the trends are worsening quite substantially over a relatively short period of time in the UK.”

Dr Inchley said one driver of increasing vape use may be their availability and low cost.

Rose Dunlop, deputy director of public health at Bradford Council said: “We are working closely with partners in health, education, and the law enforcement to develop a smokefree strategy for the district, part of which will look at how we can reduce the use of nicotine products in young people. 

“This will include engagement both in a school setting and through awareness campaigns to help children understand the risks of vaping, smoking and nicotine addiction, while also clamping down on those who are illegally supplying nicotine products to children.”

A Government spokesman said smoking, vaping and underage drinking is damaging for young people and their development. 

The spokesman added: “As a government, we are creating the UK’s first smokefree generation. Our landmark Tobacco and Vapes Bill will make it an offence to sell tobacco products to anyone born after 1 January 2009 and includes powers to limit flavours, packaging and displays of vapes to reduce the appeal to children.”