Significant fall in exposure to second hand smoke

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

The proportion of children exposed to second hand smoke in the home was 6 per cent in 2015, down from 11 per cent in 2014. The proportion of non-smoking adults exposed to second-hand smoke in their own or other people’s home declined from 25 per cent in 2003 to 12 per cent in 2015.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today released The Scottish Health Survey 2015, providing information on the health and factors relating to health of adults and children in Scotland.

Smoking rates and e-cigarette use

In 2015, 21 per cent of adults currently smoked cigarettes, down from 22 per cent in 2014. Smokers on average smoked 13 cigarettes a day.

Seven per cent of adults reported currently using e-cigarettes in 2015, an increase from 5 per cent in 2014.

Mental health and wellbeing

The proportion of adults reporting two or more symptoms of anxiety increased from 9 per cent in 2012/2013 to 12 per cent to 2014/2015 with levels twice as high for those in the most deprived areas (15 per cent) as for those in the least deprived areas (7 per cent). Prevalence of two or more symptoms of depression were four times higher (16 per cent) in the most deprived areas compared to the least deprived (4 per cent).

Levels of self-reported self-harm increased from 3 per cent to 7 per cent between 2008/2009 and 2014/2015. Levels were highest for women aged 16 to 24 (23 per cent in 2012-2015).
The proportion of adults reporting that they had ever attempted suicide was much higher in the most deprived areas (10 per cent) than in the three least deprived areas (3-4 per cent).


Around two-third (65 per cent) of adults in Scotland are overweight, including 29 per cent who are obese. This figure has been relatively stable since 2008.

The proportion of boys of healthy weight (73 per cent in 2015) has increased year on year since 2011 (63 per cent). The proportion for girls was 70 per cent in 2015 and has remained relatively stable since 1998. Children with an obese parent were much more likely to be obese themselves (23 per cent) than children with parents who are not overweight (11 per cent).

Adherence to new alcohol guidelines

The report shows the prevalence of drinking outwith the new government guidelines for weekly alcohol consumption (14 units a week for both men and women) declined significantly from 34 per cent in 2003 to 26 per cent in 2015.

Other key findings from the report show:

• Nine per cent of adults had both a physical health condition and symptoms of mental disorder in 2012-2015.
• In 2015, 15 per cent of adults had ever been diagnosed with a Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) condition by a doctor (similar to levels of 14-16 per cent from 2003 onwards).
• In 2015, 74 per cent of adults identified their health as ‘good’ or ‘very good’, a level that has changed little since 2008. Nearly all children (95 per cent) were reported to have ‘good’ or ‘very good’ health.
• The proportion of adults with some natural teeth increased from 88 per cent in 2008 to 92 per cent in 2015. Older women were less likely than older men to have natural teeth – 56 per cent of women aged 75 and over compared to 68 per cent of men in that age group.
• Twenty one per cent of adults and 12 per cent of children met the 5-a-day recommendation for fruit and vegetable consumption In total, 43 per cent of children whose parents ate no fruit or vegetables on the previous day ate none themselves, compared to 2 per cent of children whose parents met the 5-a-day recommendation.
• The proportion of adults who were physically active at the recommended level (150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week) has not changed significantly in the last four years (63 per cent in 2015).
• Around three-quarters (73 per cent) of children met the guideline of 60 minutes or more physical activity a day, a similar proportion to that seen in 2008 (71 per cent).
• Just over a tenth (11 per cent) of adults and 15 per cent of children had an accident in the previous 12 months. The main cause was a fall, slip or trip (57 per cent of adults and 53 per cent of children).

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.


A short summary report and the full statistical publication are available at

Key findings from the 2015 survey are presented together with trends, some of which extend back nearly two decades.

Official statistics are produced in accordance with professional standards. More information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:


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