3 Description of the participants
3.1 This chapter provides information about the young adults who took part in the research. It is important to emphasise that the findings discussed here are not representative of the wider population of 16- to 25-year-olds in Scotland due to the purposive sampling approach used in the study. (See again Chapter 2.)
3.2 Table 3.1 provides details about the sample achieved in the 13 focus groups. Altogether 99 young adults aged 16-25 took part in the research. The sample included a slightly higher proportion of males (55%) than females (45%).
Table 3.1: Sample description
|Target groups||Location ( ID)||
|Vapers (5 groups)|
|Under 21s||In employment||Glasgow ( FG6)||3||2||5|
|NEET / living in an area of high deprivation||Dundee ( FG10)||4||1||5|
|18-23s||In further / higher education||Dundee ( FG3)||6||3||9|
|19-25s||In employment||Glasgow ( FG11)||4||5||9|
|NEET / living in an area of high deprivation||Edinburgh ( FG7)||4||1||5|
|Smokers (5 groups)|
|Under 21s||In further / higher education||Dundee ( FG2)||4||4||8|
|NEET / living in an area of high deprivation||Edinburgh ( FG4)||4||6||10|
|NEET / living in an area of high deprivation||Dundee ( FG9)||2||7||9|
|19-25s||In employment||Glasgow ( FG5)||6||3||9|
|In employment||Edinburgh ( FG8)||4||3||7|
|Non-smokers (3 groups)|
|Under 21s||NEET / living in an area of high deprivation||Edinburgh ( FG1)||4||2||6|
|In employment||Dundee ( FG13)||2||5||7|
|19-25s||In employment||Glasgow ( FG12)||7||3||10|
About the participants
3.3 Age of participants. Table 3.2 provides details of the age profile of the sample. Approximately half the sample was aged 16-19 (54%), and half aged 20-25 (46%).
Table 3.2: Age of participants
* Percentages do not total 100% due to rounding.
3.4 Smoking status of participants. Table 3.3 sets out the self-reported smoking status of participants. Just over half (52%) of those who took part in the study were regular smokers and a further 17% were occasional smokers.
Table 3.3: Smoking status of participants
3.5 Age of first smoking. Among those who were current or former smokers (n=77), age of first smoking ranged from 7 to 18, with most (n=19) having started at age 14 ( Figure 3.1). Two-thirds of the sample (n=52, 68%) commenced smoking between the ages of 13 and 15, while a fifth (n=15, 19%) only began smoking at age 16 or later.
Figure 3.1: Age of first smoking
3.6 Experience of vaping. Most of the participants (77%) reported that they had tried vaping. However, among non-smokers, less than a quarter (23%) had ever vaped. ( Table 3.4.)
Table 3.4: Number and proportion who had ever vaped, by smoking status
3.7 Current vaping status. In addition, 40% of the participants overall reported being current vapers - defined as vaping at least once a week ( Table 3.5). Non-smokers and current smokers were least likely to be current vapers, while occasional smokers and former smokers were most likely to be current vapers.
Table 3.5: Number and proportion who were current vapers, by smoking status
Dual use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes
3.8 Table 3.5 shows that 39% of regular smokers in this study were also current vapers. Furthermore, most of the current vapers reported being either regular or occasional smokers: half were regular smokers, and a third said they smoked occasionally. These findings suggest that there is likely to be a large degree of overlap in the views and experiences discussed by participants in the vaping and smoking groups. The vaping groups were not solely groups of vapers, but largely consisted of smoker-vapers; this was also true of the smoking groups, but to a lesser extent.
3.9 Again, note that the figures shown in this section are not representative of the wider population of 16- to 25-year-olds and so do not correspond to the prevalence figures discussed in Chapter 1. In particular, the purposive sampling approach used in this study was specifically designed to target current vapers and smokers.