THE FIRST MINISTER has suggested that vapes should only be available on prescription for people quitting smoking in Wales.

Public Health Wales (PHW) has just recently issued advice to secondary schools in Wales with the use of vapes among teenagers on the rise.

The guidance sets out details of vaping use among young people in Wales and actions schools can take to address vaping.

Figures from the School Health Research Network show that 20% of young people from year 7 to year 11 say they’ve tried vaping, with 5% of secondary school pupils in Wales vaping at least once a week.

This week, first minister Mark Drakeford said he was 'attracted' to Australia's stance on restricting the sale of vapes to pharmacies.

He has also backed the UK government plans that could see a ban on disposable vapes.

He was responding to a question about vapes that Clwyd West MS Darren Millar posed during a a plenary meeting on Tuesday (October 10).

Mr Drakeford said: "In Australia for example the only way you can get an e-cigarette is by prescription. You can't buy them in shops.

"Only through a medical prescription as part of a supervised attempt to give up smoking are they available. And do you know, I would be attracted to that idea myself."

Conservative Mr Millar asked what the Welsh government was doing to help smokers get e-cigarettes on the NHS to help them quit.

In response, Mr Drakeford said: "As to whether e-cigarettes are a significant contribution to people quitting smoking, I think the evidence is a bit more equivocal than he would suggest.

"Most people who use e-cigerettes are dual users. Most people who use e-cigarettes also smoke conventional cigarettes and that does not reduce the harm of cigarettes themselves.

"Cigarette use in Wales was already reducing, far before e-cigarettes were ever available."

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles has previously stated that schools have been telling the Welsh Government that vaping is a 'real issue' currently.

This was, Mr Miles said, down to a number of reasons including; peer pressure, colourful marketing targeted at children and a lack of understanding of the potential health risks.