Uptake of e-cigarettes among a nationally representative cohort of UK children
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Public Health Policy Evaluation Unit, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
Publish date: 2018-04-26
Submission date: 2018-01-04
Final revision date: 2018-03-23
Acceptance date: 2018-04-03
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(April):16
Using nationally representative data this study examined experimentation with and regular use of e-cigarettes among children not using tobacco at age 11 years, followed up to age 14 years.

Material and Methods:
Data come from 10 982 children in the UK Millennium Cohort Study. Logistic regression assessed experimentation with and current use of e-cigarettes by age 14 years. We considered associations of sociodemographics at age 11 years with subsequent e-cigarette use, including data on family income, peer and caregiver smoking. Subsequent models were adjusted for current tobacco use to assess both the strength of the assocations between e-cigarette use and tobacco, and whether sociodemographics were associated with e-cigarettes independently of tobacco.

Among 10 982 children who reported never smoking at age 11 years, 13.9% (1525) had ever tried an e-cigarette by age 14 years, and of these 18.2% (278) reported being current users. Children in lower income households were more likely to have tried an e-cigarette than those in higher income households (Adjusted Odds Ratio, AOR 1.89, p=0.002). Children who reported friend (AOR 2.28, p<0.001) or caregiver smoking (AOR 1.77, p<0.001) at age 11 years were more likely to have tried an e-cigarette by age 14 years. After adjusting for current tobacco use, there was some attenuation of these associations, although associations of friend and caregiver smoking with e-cigarette use remained statistically significant.

Children from lower income families were more likely to experiment with e-cigarettes by age 14 years, although this was heavily mediated by concurrent tobacco use. Caregiver and friend smoking are linked to trying e-cigarettes, although these relationships are less clear for regular e-cigarette use.

Anthony A. Laverty   
Public Health Policy Evaluation Unit, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
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