A major study conducted across the UK has concluded that regular use of electronic cigarettes among people 11–16 years of age ‘remains very low, at three percent or less, and remains largely confined to regular smokers’.
The study, led by professor Linda Bauld of the University of Stirling and the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, examined data 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 were said to have collected data from more than 60,000 young people.
In their conclusion, the researchers said that their paper highlighted the current rates of e-cigarette use among young people in the UK, where e-cigarettes formed a part of a tobacco harm reduction policy landscape.
While it was estimated that there were 2.9 million e-cigarette current users among adults in Great Britain, regular use among people 11–16 years of age remained at three percent or lower, and remained largely confined to regular smokers.
Regular e-cigarette use among never smokers was very rare.
These low rates of regular use suggested that youth experimentation was not currently leading to greater frequency of use; however, comparing youth e-cigarette data and trends across surveys and countries was crucial to better understand youth trends.
Survey measures had to be designed to assess frequency of use, rather than just ever- or past-30-day use.
The full study is available at: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/9/973/htm.