Electronic Cigarette Use among Irish Youth: A Cross Sectional Study of Prevalence and Associated Factors

PLoS One. 2015 May 27;10(5):e0126419. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126419. eCollection 2015.


Purpose: To examine prevalence of, and factors associated with, e-cigarette use among young people aged 16-17 in Ireland.

Methods: In 2014, a representative sample of 821 young people aged 16-17 recruited from secondary schools completed a pen and paper survey on e-cigarette use, tobacco use, and socio-demographic items.

Findings: A total of 23.8% of respondents had used e-cigarettes at least once. Dual trial of tobacco and e-cigarettes was common with 69.5% of regular smokers and 30.4% of 'ever' smokers having tried e-cigarettes and 10.6% of current smokers using e-cigarettes regularly. 4.2% of never smokers have tried e-cigarettes. Overall, current e-cigarette use (once a month or more) was low (3.2%). Binary logistic regression conducted through generalized estimating equations (GEE) determined that controlling for other variables, current tobacco use and 'ever' tobacco use predicted ever e-cigarette use. Gender and school-level socioeconomic status were also independent predictors of ever e-cigarette use. Gender stood as the only predictor of on-going e-cigarette use, with males being more likely to regularly use e-cigarettes at least once a month.

Conclusions: E-cigarette use among 16-17 year olds in Ireland is of note, with nearly a quarter of students having tried them. Concurrent or experimental use of e-cigarettes and tobacco is more common than sole use, while a small number have tried e-cigarettes without having tried tobacco.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Ireland / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Schools
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Students / statistics & numerical data

Grant support

The TobaccoFree Research Institute received grant funding from the Irish Department of Health's National Lottery Grant Scheme which contributed to the salaries of the employees who worked on this research project. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.