Taking action on smoking and health
The number of teenagers in Scotland who smoke continues to fall while their use of electronic cigarettes is low and primarily among those who already use tobacco.
Health charity ASH Scotland has welcomed the findings from the new Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS) 2013.
SALSUS found 2% of 13 year olds were regular smokers in 2013 (down from 3% in 2010), while 9% of 15 year olds were regular smokers in 2013 (down from 13% in 2010) - the lowest rates since current surveys began in 1982.
Previous figures showing that more girls than boys are regular smokers are no longer apparent in the new statistics.
One per cent of 13 year olds and 4% of 15 year olds described themselves as an ‘occasional’ smoker. Over four-fifths of 13 year olds (87%) and two-thirds of all 15 year olds (66%) said they had never smoked.
For the first time, the survey asked about electronic cigarettes, finding 17% of 15 year olds reported trying or using e-cigarettes compared to 7% of 13 year olds.
A total of 14% of 15 year olds and 6% of 13 year olds tried or used e-cigarettes only once or a few times, meaning 3% of 15 year olds and 1% of 13 year olds have used the devices more often.
Only 4% of those who had never smoked had ever used e-cigarettes.
ASH Scotland Chief Executive Sheila Duffy said:
“It is clear from this survey why tobacco companies spent so much time and money fighting against measures to restrict youth smoking – these initiatives work.
“We raised the age of youth smoking and cracked down on the supply of tobacco to young people - now youth smoking is at the lowest level since surveys began.
“We removed tobacco displays from supermarkets – and teenagers’ knowledge of tobacco brands has gone down.
“But more needs to be done – 22% said they had been exposed to tobacco smoke in a car, which is why we welcome moves to ban smoking in vehicles with children present.
“While most adult smokers are aware of electronic cigarettes it is welcome news that very few children are using them. We would like to keep it that way.”
For further information please contact communications officer Bob Smyth on 0131 220 9488 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Action on Smoking & Health (Scotland) (ASH Scotland) is a registered Scottish charity (SC 010412) and a company limited by guarantee(Scottish company no 141711). The registered office is 8 Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 2HB.
ASH Scotland acknowledges with thanks the support of the British Heart Foundation and the Scottish Government in developing our website.