Tobacco use: young people smoking by age and gender
The Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS) provides estimates of the proportion of under-16s in school who smoke, drink alcohol and/or use illegal drugs. In the most recent survey, carried out in 2010, it was estimated that 3% of 13-year-olds and 13% of 15-year-olds were regular smokers (usually smoking one or more cigarettes a week).
Chart 1 (view chart) shows the percentages of 13- and 15-year-old pupils in Scotland who were regular smokers by gender for the years 1990 to 2010. As might be expected, smoking prevalence increases with age. Throughout most of this period, a higher percentage of girls than boys smoked. In the 2010 survey, 3% of 13-year-old girls and 3% of boys were regular smokers. Among 15-year-olds, 14% of girls and 11% of boys were regular smokers. The prevalence of regular smoking has reduced over recent years among both 13- and 15-year-olds.
The SALSUS reports that 40% of 13-year-olds and 42% of 15-year-olds who were regular smokers said they would like to give up smoking altogether. Most regular smokers (65% of 13-year-olds and 65% of 15-year-olds) had tried to give up smoking.
Please note: If you require the most up-to-date data available, please check the data sources directly as new data may have been published since these data pages were last updated. Although we endeavour to ensure that the data pages are kept up-to-date, there may be a time lag between new data being published and the relevant ScotPHO web pages being updated.