Smoking Prevalence of 15 Year Olds from WAY Survey 2014
Tuesday, 4 August 2015 | Admin
Smoking and tobacco continues to be one of the most significant challenges to the UK health system, and the cause of early death and preventable morbidity in England, with smoking rates higher in certain social groups and those of lower incomes. Despite smoking amongst younger people declining, there is still an urgency to tackle smoking as a whole. Since 2007, the legal age for the purchase of tobacco in England and wales was raised from 16 to 18 to ensure a decline was notable among teenagers.
In a recent survey by What About YOUth 2014 (WAY), questions on smoking behaviour provided data from local authorities to monitor smoking prevalence among young people.
Smoking was also seen to be far more popular amongst the younger generation in the North East (8%). Young people in this region were reported to have the highest level of smoking in the country, compared to London which had the lowest smoking prevalence with only 3% reported to smoke. Local authorities had reported that the highest percentage of those who smoked were in Richmond upon Thames and Brighton and Hove (36% for both areas). In other areas such as Hartlepool, Torbay, Bristol, Blackpool and Sunderland, 32% of young people were smokers and the lowest percentage reported from local authorities was in Redbridge and Slough.
The age of smoking and the mean age of first trying a cigarette was just over 13 years old, an astonishing figure. Of those who had tried smoking, just over three quarters had first tried it at 13 years old (775)/ boys were more likely to have tried smoking before they reached the age of 12 than girls (14% compared to 10%).
With e-cigarettes on the rise, the survey also measured those who were more likely to use an electronic cigarette. 3% of young people said they currently used an e-cigarette and 18% of young people said they had used them, compared to 13% who had only tried it once or twice. There was no significant difference between male and females (19% and 18% respectively). Similarly to smoking, young people who were from under-privileged backgrounds were more likely to use an e-cigarette, compared to those in least deprived areas (21% compared to 15%). The same applied to those who received free school meals.
Statements which drew the lowest levels of agreement were:
In terms of social issues related to smoking, there was agreement:
Comparisons between smokers and non-smokers found:
Credit: 2015, Health and Social Care Information Centre, GOV.uk
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