beta

You're viewing our new website - find out more

Publication - Statistics Publication

Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS): Smoking Report 2015

Published: 25 Oct 2016
Part of:
Health and social care
ISBN:
9781786525314

Report presenting the smoking findings from the 2015 wave of the Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS).

66 page PDF

4.0MB

66 page PDF

4.0MB

Contents
Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS): Smoking Report 2015
2 Prevalence and key trends

66 page PDF

4.0MB

2 Prevalence and key trends

Summary of key changes over time

Smoking prevalence has dropped markedly over time, since 1996 among 15 year old boys and slightly later (since 2002-2004) among 15 year old girls and 13 year olds. There has been a further small decrease in smoking prevalence among 15 year old girls between 2013 and 2015.

Among 15 year olds, the mean number of cigarettes smoked remained similar in 2013 and 2015. However, there has been a decrease in the median number of cigarettes smoked in a week (Figure 2.1).

Use of e-cigarettes increased markedly among all groups between 2013 and 2015.

Figure 2.1 Summary of trends in smoking between 2013 and 2015

Figure 2.1 Summary of trends in smoking between 2013 and 2015

N.B. Data on 13 year old regular smokers has been left blank as the bases were too small to allow robust analysis.

Smoking prevalence

Pupils were classified as 'regular smokers' (defined as usually smoking at least one cigarette a week), 'occasional smokers' (currently smoking, but less than one cigarette a week) or 'non-smokers' (pupils who had never smoked or were not current smokers).

2015 FIGURES Almost all 13 year olds (97%) were non-smokers. 2% were regular smokers and 1% were occasional smokers. Smoking was more common among 15 year olds but the prevalence was still low: 7% were regular smokers and 5% were occasional smokers (Figure 2.2).
TRENDS OVER TIME Smoking prevalence has dropped markedly over time, since 1996 among 15 year old boys and slightly later (since 2002-2004) among 15 year old girls and 13 year olds (Figure 2.3). There has been a further small decrease in smoking prevalence among 15 year old girls between 2013 and 2015.
GENDER DIFFERENCES Over the previous three decades or so, smoking prevalence had tended to be somewhat higher among girls, but there is now no gender difference.

Figure 2.2 Smoking frequency, by age (2015)

Figure 2.2 Smoking frequency, by age (2015)

Base: all 13 year olds (13,347), all 15 year olds (11,469)

Figure 2.3 Proportion of pupils who are regular smokers, by age and sex (1982-2015)

Figure 2.3 Proportion of pupils who are regular smokers, by age and sex (1982-2015)

Base: all pupils (for full base sizes please see Appendix B)

Number of cigarettes smoked in the last week

2015 FIGURES Among 15 year old regular smokers, the mean (or average) number of cigarettes smoked in the last week was 44 for boys and 40 for girls. Because the mean can be affected by a relatively small number of pupils smoking a lot, it is also useful to look at the median number [6] , which was much lower, 25 for both boys and girls (Figure 2.4).
TRENDS OVER TIME The mean number of cigarettes smoked was similar to 2013 but the median number dropped from 34 (for girls and boys combined) in 2013 to 26 [7] in 2015.

Figure 2.4 Mean and median number of cigarettes smoked in a week by 15 year old regular smokers, by sex (2015)

Q. How many cigarettes did you smoke on each day in the last 7 days, ending yesterday?

Figure 2.4 Mean and median number of cigarettes smoked in a week by 15 year old regular smokers, by sex (2015)

Base: 15 year old boys who are regular smokers (307), 15 year old girls who are regular smokers (302)

Length of time smoked

2015 FIGURES 71% of 15 year old regular smokers had been smoking for 6 months or more.
TRENDS OVER TIME The length of time that 15 year old regular smokers had been smoking has fluctuated somewhat over time but, in 2015, the proportion who had been smoking for 6 months or more was at its lowest point since the survey began asking the question in 1990. This indicates that the age at which pupils become regular smokers is increasing. This appears to be due primarily to a large decrease in the proportion of boys smoking for 6 months or more between 2013 (77%) and 2015 (66%) (Figure 2.5).
GENDER DIFFERENCES Whether boys or girls had been smoking for longer has also fluctuated over time. In 2015, more girls than boys had been smoking for 6 months or more. This is due to the notable decrease among boys since 2013.

Figure 2.5 Proportion of 15 year old regular smokers who had been smoking for 6 months or more, by sex (1990-2015)

Q. How long is it since you started smoking at least one cigarette a week?

Figure 2.5 Proportion of 15 year old regular smokers who had been smoking for 6 months or more, by sex (1990-2015)

Base: 15 year old regular smokers (for full base sizes please see Appendix B)

Age first smoked

2015 FIGURES The mean age that 15 year olds (who had ever smoked) had first smoked a cigarette ('even just a puff') was 13 years and 4 months.
TRENDS OVER TIME The age at which pupils first tried smoking has been gradually increasing since 2008 (Figure 2.6).
GENDER DIFFERENCES 15 year old girls were, on average, slightly older than 15 year old boys when they first tried smoking (13 years and 5 months among girls, compared with 13 years and 1 month among boys).

Figure 2.6 Mean age at which 15 year old pupils who had ever smoked, first tried a cigarette (2008-2015)

Figure 2.6 Mean age at which 15 year old pupils who had ever smoked, first tried a cigarette (2008-2015)

Base: 15 year olds who have ever smoked (for full base sizes please see Appendix B)

Perceived ease of giving up

2015 FIGURES Half (51%) of 15 year old regular smokers said they would find it 'very' or 'fairly' difficult to give up.
TRENDS OVER TIME The proportion of regular smokers who say they would find it difficult to give up has dropped over time (since 2000 for boys and since 2004 for girls) (Figure 2.7).
GENDER DIFFERENCES Since 2002, more girls than boys have said they would find it difficult to give up.

Figure 2.7 Trends in proportion of 15 year old regular smokers who say they would find it 'very difficult' or 'fairly difficult' to give up, by sex (1992-2015)

Q. How easy or difficult would you find it to give up smoking altogether if you wanted to?

Figure 2.7 Trends in proportion of 15 year old regular smokers who say they would find it 'very difficult' or 'fairly difficult' to give up, by sex (1992-2015)

Base: 15 year old regular smokers (for full base sizes please see Appendix B)

Wanting to give up smoking

2015 FIGURES 29% of 15 year old regular smokers said they would like to give up smoking. A similar proportion (28%) said they would not like to give up. However, the biggest proportion (44%) said they didn't know.
TRENDS OVER TIME The proportion of 15 year old regular smokers who say they would like to give up has been decreasing since 2004, with a particularly notable drop among girls since 2013 (41% in 2013 compared with 26% in 2015). Around half of the drop is explained by an increase in those saying they do not want to give up and half is explained by an increase in those saying they don't know (Figure 2.8) [8] .

The decreasing trend is broadly similar to the decreasing trend in smoking prevalence. In other words, as the overall prevalence of smoking decreases, fewer of those who do smoke want to give up.
GENDER DIFFERENCES There were no statistically significant gender differences.

Figure 2.8 Trends in the proportion of 15 year old regular smokers who say they would like to give up, by sex (1992-2015)

Q. Would you like to give up smoking?

Figure 2.8 Trends in the proportion of 15 year old regular smokers who say they would like to give up, by sex (1992-2015)

Base: 15 year old regular smokers (for full base sizes please see Appendix B)

Trying to give up smoking

2015 FIGURES A little over half of 15 year old regular smokers (55%) had tried to give up.
TRENDS OVER TIME The proportion of 15 year old regular smokers who have tried to give up has decreased since 2008 (Figure 2.9). This is in line with the decreasing trend in the proportion who want to give up, and the decrease in overall prevalence. As the overall prevalence of smoking decreases, fewer of those who do smoke want to give up or try to give up.
GENDER DIFFERENCES There were no statistically significant gender differences.

Figure 2.9 Trends in the proportion of 15 year old regular smokers who have tried to give up, by sex (1992-2015)

Q. Have you ever tried to give up smoking?

Figure 2.9 Trends in the proportion of 15 year old regular smokers who have tried to give up, by sex (1992-2015)

Base: 15 year old regular smokers (for full base sizes please see Appendix B)

E-cigarette use

2015 FIGURES 15% of 13 year olds and 32% of 15 year olds have ever used an e-cigarette. However, only a small proportion used them regularly (defined as once a week or more): 1% of 13 year olds and 3% of 15 year olds.

Regular smokers in both age groups were much more likely than non-smokers to have ever used or regularly used an e-cigarette (Figures 2.10 and 2.11).
TRENDS OVER TIME Between 2013 and 2015, there was a large increase in use of e-cigarettes ever among all groups, and a large increase in regular use of e-cigarettes among all groups except non-smokers (Figures 2.10 and 2.11).
GENDER DIFFERENCES Boys were slightly more likely than girls to have used e-cigarettes: 25% of boys had ever used e-cigarettes, compared with 22% of girls and 3% used e-cigarettes regularly, compared with 1% of girls.

Figure 2.10 E-cigarette use among 13 year olds, by smoking status and year (2013-2015)

Figure 2.10 E-cigarette use among 13 year olds, by smoking status and year (2013-2015)

Base: 13 year old regular smokers (195), 13 year old occasional smokers (170), 13 year old non-smokers (12,719)

Figure 2.11 E-cigarette use among 15 year olds, by smoking status and year (2013-2015)

Figure 2.11 E-cigarette use among 15 year olds, by smoking status and year (2013-2015)

Base: 15 year old regular smokers (785) 15 year old occasional smokers (518), 15 year old non-smokers (9,988)


Contact