Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS): smoking report 2018

Findings on smoking and e-cigarettes from the 2018 wave of the Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS).

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1. The overall response rate excludes schools who took part in the Realigning Children’s Services Survey and Glasgow state schools. For more details please see the SALSUS 2018 Technical Report.

2. Scottish Government and COSLA (2018) Public Health Priorities for Scotland

3. Scottish Government (2013) Creating a Tobacco-Free Generation - Tobacco Control Strategy

4. Scottish Government (2018) Raising Scotland's tobacco-free generation: our tobacco control action plan 2018

5. The SALSUS 2018 Technical Report can be found at:

6. The SALSUS 2018 Questionnaire can be found at:

7. The middle number of cigarettes smoked, after sorting all the responses in increasing order.

8. Please note that the decimal place on the vertical axis for this graph refers to fractions of a year rather than months, for example the value 12.5 years in 2008 equates to 12 and a half years old, i.e. 12 years and 6 months and not 12 years and 5 months.

9. As the actual cost varies depending on the outlets and the brand, there is no ‘correct’ answer to this. In the 2018 wave of SALSUS, analysis is based on the RPI average price of 20 cigarettes king size filter according to the Office for National Statistics. This was £10.63 in December 2018. Accessed 16 August 2019.

10. Results from previous waves are not completely comparable due to the addition of a ‘don’t know’ option in 2015 and other changes in previous waves.

11. Given that 39% of regular 15 year old smokers say that their parents do not know they smoke (Figure 5.1), a large proportion of those who say that they are not allowed to smoke at home will likely mean that they know/assume that they would not be allowed, rather than their parents having actively forbidden them from smoking at home.

12. Figures do not sum to 100%, since a small percentage of students answered that they do not see either parent.

13. The terminology used to describe SDQ scores is borrowed from the original SDQ questionnaire designed by Robert Goodman. While the terms ‘normal’, ‘borderline’ and ‘abnormal’ may seem outdated in the context of the language used to describe mental wellbeing today, they have been retained in this report to draw comparisons to previous years.

14. For full details of how area deprivation is calculated and its limitations please see the SALSUS 2018 Technical Report.



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