E-cigarettes used by 1 in 20 Scots, says health survey

E-cigarette Image copyright Thinkstock

One in 20 adults in Scotland use e-cigarettes and a sixth of adults have tried them, according to an annual survey of Scottish households.

The Scottish Health Survey for 2014 has just been published.

It suggested wealthier people are more likely to drink at harmful levels and most Scots do not eat the recommended amount of fruit and veg.

It also looked at the impact of the Commonwealth Games but found little change in levels of physical activity.

Every year more than 4,000 adults and 1,000 children are questioned to provide a snapshot of the health of the nation.

In 2014, for the first time, adults were asked about their use of e-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine in a vapour.

'Not insignificant'

The results suggested 1 in 20 adults (5%) currently use them, and 15% of all adults have tried them.

Half of all smokers said they had used them but just 1% of people who had never smoked regularly said they had tried e-cigarettes.

Diarmid Campbell-Jack, research director at ScotCen Social Research, said: "These findings confirm that e-cigarettes are being used by a small but not insignificant proportion of people in Scotland, with one in every 20 saying that they currently use electronic cigarettes.

"It's important that the role of e-cigarettes isn't over estimated, particularly until more is known about their long-term consequences. However, the more that we see a decline in usage of tobacco cigarettes the better for the future of health in Scotland."

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Only 1 in 5 adults said they met the daily recommendation of five portions of fruit and veg

People taking part in the survey were asked about their general health and well-being, alcohol consumption, smoking, diet and physical activity.

The survey also looked at obesity, respiratory health and cardiovascular conditions and diabetes, as well as inequalities in health risks.

It found "a notable income gap" in those who drank at hazardous or harmful levels.

Those from the highest income households were significantly more likely (31% men, 22% women) to drink at this level than those from the lowest income households (18% men, 13% women).

More sport

Other findings suggested the majority, nearly two in three, of Scottish adults remained overweight, with 28% who were obese.

One in 10 adults did not consume any fruit or vegetables, while just one in five met the recommended five-a-day, according to the survey.

Just 14% of children aged 2-15 years met this guideline.

The survey also asked participants about the impact of the Commonwealth Games which were held in Glasgow in the summer of 2014.

Just over 1 in 20 adults adults said they were more interested in sport and physical activity as a result of the games, and only 4% said they were thinking about doing more sport or physical activity.

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