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The Scottish adolescent e-cigarette user: profiling from the Scottish Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


N. Kaufmann, Dorothy Currie

School/Research organisations


Objectives: Profiling the Scottish adolescent e-cigarette user

Study design: 283 state, independent and grant maintained schools participated in the Scottish Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS) between September 2013 and 2014. 33,685 13 and 15-year-old pupils who had completed the cross-sectional survey SALSUS questionnaire, and answered the question based on e-cigarette use were included in the analysis. Profiling of the typical Scottish adolescent e-cigarette user through gender, age, socioeconomic status, urban/rural location, weekly alcohol consumption, current drug use and current tobacco smoking was the main outcome measured.

Results: 1.1% of adolescents were current e-cigarette users with 11% having tried the devices before. Current e-cigarette users were significantly more likely to be male (OR=1.9; CI= 1.5-1.9), rural (OR= 1.4; CI=1.1-1.9), smoke tobacco (OR=21.1; CI=15.3-29.1), weekly alcohol (OR=1.4; CI=1.1-1.9) and current drug users (OR=2.3; CI=1.7-3.0). There were no significance differences observed for socioeconomic status. Similar results were observed for those using both and those who only used e-cigarettes. Only tobacco smokers differed in that they were significantly more likely to be female than male (OR=0.56; CI=0.51-0.63) and of a lower socioeconomic status (OR=1.3; CI=1.1-1.4).

Conclusions: The Scottish adolescent e-cigarette user is male, lives rurally, a weekly alcohol drinker, a current drug user and a tobacco smoker. This profiling study helps to inform policy makers targeting e-cigarette use. Further research requires a longitudinal study and monitoring the changing views of this group.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-71
Number of pages3
JournalPublic Health
Early online date28 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

    Research areas

  • E-cigarette, Scottish, Adolescent, Profile, Public health

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