E-cigarette use and intentions to smoke among 10-11-year-old never-smokers in Wales

Moore, G. F., Littlecott, H. J., Moore, L. , Ahmed, N. and Holliday, J. (2016) E-cigarette use and intentions to smoke among 10-11-year-old never-smokers in Wales. Tobacco Control, 25(2), pp. 147-152. (doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2014-052011) (PMID:25535293) (PMCID:PMC4789807)

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Abstract

Background: E-cigarettes are seen by some as offering harm reduction potential, where used effectively as smoking cessation devices. However, there is emerging international evidence of growing use among young people, amid concerns that this may increase tobacco uptake. Few UK studies examine the prevalence of e-cigarette use in non-smoking children or associations with intentions to smoke.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of year 6 (10–11-year-old) children in Wales. Approximately 1500 children completed questions on e-cigarette use, parental and peer smoking, and intentions to smoke. Logistic regression analyses among never smoking children, adjusted for school-level clustering, examined associations of smoking norms with e-cigarette use, and of e-cigarette use with intentions to smoke tobacco within the next 2 years.

Results: Approximately 6% of year 6 children, including 5% of never smokers, reported having used an e-cigarette. By comparison to children whose parents neither smoked nor used e-cigarettes, children were most likely to have used an e-cigarette if parents used both tobacco and e-cigarettes (OR=3.40; 95% CI 1.73 to 6.69). Having used an e-cigarette was associated with intentions to smoke (OR=3.21; 95% CI 1.66 to 6.23). While few children reported that they would smoke in 2 years’ time, children who had used an e-cigarette were less likely to report that they definitely would not smoke tobacco in 2 years’ time and were more likely to say that they might.

Conclusions: E-cigarettes represent a new form of childhood experimentation with nicotine. Findings are consistent with a hypothesis that children use e-cigarettes to imitate parental and peer smoking behaviours, and that e-cigarette use is associated with weaker antismoking intentions.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The lead author is supported by an MRC Population Health Scientist Fellowship (MR/K021400/1). The study was funded by the Public Health Division, Welsh Government (C–044/2012/2013). The work was undertaken with the support of The Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer), a UKCRC Public Health Research Centre of Excellence. Joint funding (MR/KO232331/1) from the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, the Welsh Government and the Wellcome Trust, under the auspices of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, is gratefully acknowledged.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Moore, Professor Laurence
Authors: Moore, G. F., Littlecott, H. J., Moore, L., Ahmed, N., and Holliday, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:Tobacco Control
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:0964-4563
ISSN (Online):1468-3318
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Tobacco Control 25(2): 147-152
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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