Document Type : Research Articles
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education (retired), University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, USA.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Objective: The study explored e-cigarette use among youth and associated factors in Thailand. Methods: This was a cross sectional study of 6,045 seventh grade students selected using a multistage design. Self-administered questionnaires relating to the socio-demographic characteristics, history of cigarette and e-cigarette uses, friends’ and family’s use of e-cigarettes, knowledge and perception of e-cigarette use, history of alcohol uses, and life assets were gathered. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine the variables and their association with e-cigarette use. Results: Prevalence of ever e-cigarette use was 7.2% and current e-cigarette use was 3.7%. We found that current cigarette smoking (AOR 4.28, 95% CI: 2.05-8.94), parental e-cigarette use (AOR 6.08, 95% CI: 2.81-13.17), peer e-cigarette use (AOR 3.82, 95% CI: 2.19-6.65), peer approval of smoking (AOR 1.95, 95% CI: 1.11-3.41), and unaware of e-cigarettes’ risk (AOR 5.25, 95% CI: 2.67-10.34). were significantly associated with current use of e-cigarettes. Male sex, poor academic achievement, and poor life assets (power of wisdom) were only significantly associated with ever e-cigarette use. Conclusion: Prevalence of current e-cigarette use among Thai middle school students did not change significantly since the government banned importation and sales of e-cigarettes in 2015, suggesting that the Thai ban has been a success. Factors associated with e-cigarette use among Thai youth were consistent with other countries. Ever e-cigarette use, increased, but less than in countries without a ban. To strengthen efforts to prevent youth from e-cigarette use and addiction, the government should improve law enforcement, especially against online marketing and strengthen school-based anti-smoking programs to include e-cigarette lessons, educating parents and the public about the harm of e-cigarettes, including secondhand effects on non-users.