Links between Smoking, E-cigarette and Cannabis use, and Gambling in Ireland: What are the odds?
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TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland, Dublin
The Institute of Public Health in Ireland
Publication date: 2023-04-25
Corresponding author
Joan Hanafin   

TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland, Dublin
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement):A156
Links between teenage gambling and tobacco and cannabis use have been reported for more than 25 years1. Less is known about e-cigarette use and gambling. In Ireland, data about teenage smoking, cannabis use and gambling have been available for some time but analyses are lacking2. E-cigarettes have been marketed and sold in Ireland for about a decade but, as in other jurisdictions, little is known about e-cigarette use and gambling. This study fills this gap by examining the links between smoking, e-cigarette and cannabis use, and gambling in Ireland.

Material and Methods:
We use data from the 2019 European School Survey Project on Alcohol and other Drugs (ESPAD), a nationally representative, cross-sectional survey of 1,940 15-16-year-old students. Tobacco, e-cigarette, and cannabis use were measured by asking participants if they had used these substances in the previous 12 months (responses re-coded as yes or no). Gambling prevalence was measured by asking participants, if they gambled money in the previous 12 months, to report which games they had played: playing on slot machines, playing cards or dice, playing the lottery, or betting on sports or animal races (responses re-coded as yes or no). Frequencies and regression analyses were carried out using Stata v16.1.

As shown in Table 1, prevalence of all 4 behaviours among 15-16 year olds in Ireland was high. Of the 4 behaviours, e-cigarette use in the previous year had the highest prevalence (37.2%, n=723), followed by gambling (22.9%, n=447), cannabis use (19.1%, n=370) and smoking (14.4%, n=281). Smoking (OR 1.84), e-cigarette use (OR 1.79), and cannabis use (OR 1.67) were all significant predictors of past-year gambling.

This study confirms, for Irish teenagers, previously reported links between smoking, cannabis use, and gambling. It also shows that teenager e-cigarette use, which has a high prevalence in Ireland, has a similar relationship with, and comparable odds for, teenager gambling.

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Sunday, S., Keogan, S., Hanafin, J. and Clancy, L., 2020. ESPAD 2019 Ireland: Results from the European Schools Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs in Ireland. Dublin: DoH, TFRI.
Exploring Socioeconomic, Demographic and Psychological Predictors of At-risk Gambling and Participation in Specific Gambling Activities: A Comparative Approach
Boban Nedeljković, Jovan Zubović, Biljana Kilibarda
Journal of Gambling Studies
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