Factors associated with current e-cigarette use in an Irish university and attitudes to proposed legislative change
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Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Publication date: 2023-10-08
Corresponding author
Catherine B Hayes   

Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement 2):A83
In 2022, 11% of Irish adults <25 years reported current use of e-cigarettes. Of particular concern is the increase in under 18s from 10-18% between 2015-19. A government bill to ban the sale of nicotine inhaling products to under 18s was approved in May 2023. We examined the prevalence of e-cigarette use among university students and staff, socio-demographic factors associated with current vaping, and attitudes to the proposed ban.

Material and Methods:
A cross-sectional study anonymous online survey was sent to 18,871 students over 18 years and 3,491 staff at Trinity College Dublin in March 2023. Primary outcome was the current use (in the past 30 days) of e-cigarettes. Attitudes to restricting outdoor vaping on campus and to the forthcoming ban were sought.

2,683 (14.2%) answered the questionnaire. Complete data were ascertained for 2359 (87.9%); (1676 undergraduates (71.1%), 357 postgraduates (15.1%), staff 318 (13.5%) and 4 other (0.3%). 838/1506 (55.6%) reported vaping in the previous 30 days (640 undergraduates (83%) 86 postgraduates (11.2%) and 42 staff (5.5%), (Chi2 =10.8, d.f. 2, p=0.005). Current vaping was strongly associated with increasing agegroup (18-23, 24-28, 39-77 years, (Chi2 =15.7, d.f. 2, p<0.001 and was much higher in females (61.9%) than males (33.9%) or those who preferred not to declare a gender (4.2%). (Chi2 =7.23, d.f. 2, p=027). 320/768 (41.7%) of current vapers had also smoked cigarettes in the previous seven days (Chi2 =95.8, d.f. 1, p<0.001). 1369/2385 (51%) supported restricting e-cigarettes on campus to a small number of designated outdoorareas. 40% supported a government ban on disposable vapes for all adults and a further 35% for under 18s only.

Vaping prevalence is extremely high among undergraduate and female students. Dual e-cigarette and cigarette use is common. Positive support for action on vaping locally and at national policy level needs to be undertaken.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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