A recent longitudinal study published in the journal Tobacco Prevention & Cessation evaluated e-cigarette experimentation and regular use in a nationally representative cohort of children in the United Kingdom. Children belonging to families with lower income were more likely to experiment with e-cigarettes by 14 years of age. This relation was heavily influenced by concurrent tobacco use.
Researchers used data from the UK Millennium Cohort Study to evaluate 10,982 children who reported never having tried smoking tobacco at 11 years of age. Children were followed up at 14 years of age.
By 14 years of age, 1525 (13.9%) had ever tried an e-cigarette, and 278 (18.0%) of them reported being current users of e-cigarette. Compared with children in higher income household, those in lower income households were more likely to have tried an e-cigarette (aOR, 1.89; P=.002). However, this association was mediated by their tobacco use. Chances of trying an e-cigarette by 14 years of age was also higher in those who reported at 11 years of age, a friend (aOR, 2.28; P<.001 or caregiver p smoking.>
Authors comment, “Having friends and caregivers who smoke has been identified as an important predictor of smoking tobacco in young age in other work and our analysis suggests that similar influences are important in the use of e-cigarettes.” Authors further state that their finding could reflect e-cigarette exposure in immediate social environment, which has been associated with adolescent e-cigarette use.