Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2017 Aug 29;14(9):973.
doi: 10.3390/ijerph14090973.

Young People's Use of E-Cigarettes Across the United Kingdom: Findings From Five Surveys 2015-2017

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Young People's Use of E-Cigarettes Across the United Kingdom: Findings From Five Surveys 2015-2017

Linda Bauld et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Concern has been expressed about the use of e-cigarettes among young people. Our study reported e-cigarette and tobacco cigarette ever and regular use among 11-16 year olds across the UK. Data came from five large scale surveys with different designs and sampling strategies conducted between 2015 and 2017: The Youth Tobacco Policy Survey; the Schools Health Research Network Wales survey; two Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Smokefree Great Britain-Youth Surveys; and the Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey. Cumulatively these surveys collected data from over 60,000 young people. For 2015/16 data for 11-16 year olds: ever smoking ranged from 11% to 20%; regular (at least weekly) smoking between 1% and 4%; ever use of e-cigarettes 7% to 18%; regular (at least weekly) use 1% to 3%; among never smokers, ever e-cigarette use ranged from 4% to 10% with regular use between 0.1% and 0.5%; among regular smokers, ever e-cigarette use ranged from 67% to 92% and regular use 7% to 38%. ASH surveys showed a rise in the prevalence of ever use of e-cigarettes from 7% (2016) to 11% (2017) but prevalence of regular use did not change remaining at 1%. In summary, surveys across the UK show a consistent pattern: most e-cigarette experimentation does not turn into regular use, and levels of regular use in young people who have never smoked remain very low.

Keywords: e-cigarettes; prevalence; smoking; surveys; tobacco; youth.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, and in the decision to publish the results.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Visual prompt used in the Youth Tobacco Policy Survey (YTPS) to illustrate different styles of e-cigarettes.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Prevalence of smoking in teenagers, UK surveys 2015/2016. Notes: Youth Tobacco Policy Survey (YTPS), United Kingdom, n = 1213 (2016); Action on Smoking and Health Smokefree Great Britain-Youth Survey n = 1205 (2016); Schools Health Research Network (SHRN), Wales, n = 32,479 (11 to 16 year olds in 2015); and, Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS), n = 13,607 (13 year olds in 2015), n = 11,697 (15 year olds in 2015).
Figure 3
Figure 3
Prevalence of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use in teenagers, UK surveys 2015/2016. Notes: Youth Tobacco Policy Survey (YTPS), United Kingdom, n = 1213 (2016); Action on Smoking and Health Smokefree Great Britain-Youth Survey n = 1205 (2016); Schools Health Research Network (SHRN), Wales, n = 32,479 (11 to 16 year olds in 2015); and, Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS), n = 13,607 (13 year olds in 2015), n = 11,697 (15 year olds in 2015). Base for regular smokers in YTPS and ASH Smokefree GB is less than 50.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Prevalence of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use in 11 to 16 year olds, ASH Smokefree GB-Youth survey, 2016/2017. Notes: ASH Smokefree GB-Youth Survey n = 1205 (2016), n = 1361 (2017). Base for regular smokers in 2016 survey is only 14 and for 2017 is only 28.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 21 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Leventhal A.M., Strong D.R., Kilpatrick M.G., Unger J.B., Sussman S., Riggs N.R., Stone M.D., Khoddam R., Samet J.M., Audrain-McGovern J. Association of electronic cigarette use with initiation of combustible tobacco product smoking in early adolescence. JAMA. 2015;314:700–707. doi: 10.1001/jama.2015.8950. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Soneji S., Barrington-Trimis J.L., Wills T.A., Leventhal A.M., Unger J.B., Gibson L.A., Yang J., Primack B.A., Andrews J.A., Miech R.A., et al. Association between initial use of e-cigarettes and subsequent cigarette smoking among adolescents and young adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171:788–797. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.1488. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. American Cancer Society. World Lung Foundation . The Tobacco Atlas: Smoking Among Youth. American Cancer Society; Atlanta, GA, USA: 2015.
    1. Harrell P.T., Naqvi S.M., Plunk A.D., Ji M., Martins S.S. Patterns of youth tobacco and polytobacco usage: The shift to alternative tobacco products. Am. J. Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2016:1–9. doi: 10.1080/00952990.2016.1225072. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Warner K.E. Frequency of e-cigarette use and cigarette smoking by American students in 2014. Am. J. Prev. Med. 2016;51:179–184. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2015.12.004. - DOI - PubMed
Feedback