Objective: The study explored e-cigarette use among youth and associated factors in Thailand.
Methods: This was a cross sectional study of 6,045 seventh grade students selected using a multistage design. Self-administered questionnaires relating to the socio-demographic characteristics, history of cigarette and e-cigarette uses, friends' and family's use of e-cigarettes, knowledge and perception of e-cigarette use, history of alcohol uses, and life assets were gathered. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine the variables and their association with e-cigarette use.
Results: Prevalence of ever e-cigarette use was 7.2% and current e-cigarette use was 3.7%. We found that current cigarette smoking (AOR 4.28, 95% CI: 2.05-8.94), parental e-cigarette use (AOR 6.08, 95% CI: 2.81-13.17), peer e-cigarette use (AOR 3.82, 95% CI: 2.19-6.65), peer approval of smoking (AOR 1.95, 95% CI: 1.11-3.41), and unaware of e-cigarettes' risk (AOR 5.25, 95% CI: 2.67-10.34). were significantly associated with current use of e-cigarettes. Male sex, poor academic achievement, and poor life assets (power of wisdom) were only significantly associated with ever e-cigarette use.
Conclusion: Prevalence of current e-cigarette use among Thai middle school students did not change significantly since the government banned importation and sales of e-cigarettes in 2015, suggesting that the Thai ban has been a success. Factors associated with e-cigarette use among Thai youth were consistent with other countries. Ever e-cigarette use, increased, but less than in countries without a ban. To strengthen efforts to prevent youth from e-cigarette use and addiction, the government should improve law enforcement, especially against online marketing and strengthen school-based anti-smoking programs to include e-cigarette lessons, educating parents and the public about the harm of e-cigarettes, including secondhand effects on non-users.<br />.
Keywords: E-cigarettes; Prevalence; Thailand; Youth; factors.