Children's smoking and exposure to other people's smoke
This report examines the prevalence of children’s smoking and exposure to other people’s smoke in England using data from 2014 and 2015. It compares the prevalence of smoking and amount of exposure to other people’s smoke in different population groups, such as age, sex, income, and region. It also examines e-cigarette use.
- 1% of children aged 8 to 15 in 2014/2015 reported that they smoked regularly (at least one cigarette per week). 4% of all children aged 8 to 15 in 2015 reported that they had ever smoked a cigarette, down from 19% in 1997.
- Among non-smoking children aged 4 to 15, 34% of boys and 38% of girls had detectable levels of cotinine in 2014/2015, indicating exposure to other people’s smoke.
- Mean cotinine levels were higher (indicating more exposure to secondhand smoke) for children from lower income households, for children living in households where one or more people smoked in the home on most days, and for children with one or more parents who currently smoked cigarettes.
- In 2015, 6% of all children aged 13 to 15 reported current or previous use of a non-tobacco nicotine delivery product (including e-cigarettes). Over one-third of children (38%) aged 13 to 15 who had ever smoked a cigarette reported current or previous use of a nicotine delivery product, but use amongst children who had never tried a cigarette was rare at 2%.