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Does exposure to cigarette brands increase the likelihood of adolescent e-cigarette use? A cross-sectional study
  1. C Best1,
  2. W van der Sluijs2,
  3. F Haseen2,
  4. D Eadie3,
  5. M Stead3,
  6. AM MacKintosh3,
  7. J Pearce4,
  8. C Tisch4,
  9. A MacGregor5,
  10. A Amos6,
  11. M Miller6,
  12. J Frank7,
  13. S Haw8
  1. 1School of Health Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK
  2. 2Child and Adolescent Health Research Unit, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, UK
  3. 3Institute for Social Marketing, School of Health Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK
  4. 4Centre for Research on Environment Society and Health, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  5. 5ScotCen Social Research, Edinburgh, UK
  6. 6Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, School of Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  7. 7Public Health Research and Policy, The Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  8. 8School of Health Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor S Haw; s.j.haw{at}


Objective To examine the relationship between tobacco cigarette brand recognition, and e-cigarette use in adolescents.

Design Cross-sectional observational study.

Setting High schools in Scotland.

Participants Questionnaires were administered to pupils in Secondary 2 (S2 mean age: 14.0 years) and Secondary 4 (S4 mean age: 15.9 years) across 4 communities in Scotland. An 86% response rate with a total sample of 1404 pupils was achieved.

Main outcome measures Self-reported previous use of e-cigarettes and self-reported intention to try e-cigarettes in the next 6 months.

Results 75% (1029/1377) of respondents had heard of e-cigarettes (69.5% S2, 81.1% S4), and of these, 17.3% (10.6% S2, 24.3% S4 n=1020) had ever tried an e-cigarette. 6.8% (3.7% S2, 10.0% S4 n=1019) reported that they intended to try an e-cigarette in the next 6 months. Recognition of more cigarette brands was associated with greater probability of previous e-cigarette use (OR 1.20, 99% CI 1.05 to 1.38) as was having a best friend who smoked (OR 3.17, 99% CI 1.42 to 7.09). Intention to try e-cigarettes was related to higher cigarette brand recognition (OR 1.41, 99% CI 1.07 to 1.87), hanging around in the street or park more than once a week (OR 3.78, 99% CI 1.93 to 7.39) and living in areas of high tobacco retail density (OR 1.20, 99% CI 1.08 to 1.34). Never having smoked was a protective factor for both future intention to try, and past e-cigarette use (OR 0.07, 99% CI 0.02 to 0.25; and OR 0.10, 99% CI 0.07 to 0.16, respectively).

Conclusions Higher cigarette brand recognition was associated with increased probability of previous use and of intention to use e-cigarettes. The impact of tobacco control measures such as restricting point-of-sale displays on the uptake of e-cigarettes in young people should be evaluated.


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