Regional socioeconomic deprivation in Germany and nicotine use among children and adolescents

Int J Environ Health Res. 2023 Mar 26;1-11. doi: 10.1080/09603123.2023.2195155. Online ahead of print.


To assess the association of regional socioeconomic deprivation and nicotine use, survey data from 17,877 pupils aged 9-17 years were analysed. Lifetime use of combustible, e-cigarettes, and both products were the outcome variables. The German Index of Socioeconomic Deprivation was the exposure variable. Logistic regression models controlling for age, gender, school type, and sensation seeking were used to examine associations between regional socioeconomic deprivation and nicotine use. Ever use of combustible cigarettes was 17.8%, of e-cigarettes 19.6%, and of both products 13.4%. Compared to the most affluent area, the adjusted odds ratio of combustible cigarette use in the most deprived area was 2.24 (95% CI: 1.67-3.00), of e-cigarette use 1.56 (95% CI: 1.20-2.03), and of poly use 1.91 (95% CI: 1.36-2.69). Nicotine use among young people across ages and especially in socioeconomic-deprived areas was widespread. Nicotine control measures are urgently needed to reduce smoking and vaping in German adolescents.

Keywords: Inequality; cigarette; e-cigarette; observational study; young people.