Author ORCID Identifier 0000-0002-8016-2266

Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Public and environmental health, Sociology

Publication Details

Tobacco Induced Diseases, 20(February), 12. DOI: 10.18332/tid/144234


E-cigarette ever use has risen significantly in recent years in Ireland, similar to trends elsewhere in Europe, the United States, and Asia-Pacific region. Results from ESPAD Ireland (European School Survey Project on Alcohol and other Drugs) show teenage e-cigarette ever use increased from 18% (2015) to 37% (2019). Given this increase, our aim is to profile e-cigarette ever users and never users in this age group; to examine sociodemographic, personal, peer, and familial factors associated with e-cigarette ever use; and to suggest appropriate measures to reduce use.

A nationally representative stratified random sample of 50 ESPAD schools was surveyed in 2019, with 3495 students aged 15–17 years. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed using Stata version 16.

E-cigarette ever use was significantly associated with ever smoking (AOR=4.15; 95% CI: 1.29–13.41), ever cannabis use (AOR=2.21; 95% CI: 1.11–4.41) and ever inhalants use (AOR=2.51; 95% CI: 1.07–5.88). Children of university-educated mothers had significantly higher odds of e-cigarette ever use (AOR=3.46; 95% CI: 1.40–8.54). Associated with reduced AORs were reading books for enjoyment (AOR=0.32; 95% CI: 0.16–0.64), living in households where smoking was regulated (AOR=0.53; 95% CI: 0.30–0.94), and perceiving moderate risk in trying e-cigarettes once or twice (AOR=0.20; 95% CI: 0.07–0.67).

E-cigarette ever use is part of a pattern of teenage polysubstance use including cigarette smoking, providing some support for the common liability theory. Regulation of smoking in the home, reading for enjoyment, and perceiving risk from e-cigarette use are associated with decreased likelihood of ever use, and higher parental education with increased likelihood. Thus, health education emphasizing the role of parents and risks of e-cigarette use is indicated to reduce the rise in e-cigarette ever use in teenagers.



Department of Health, RCDHT Grant 184