Association of Cigarette Smoking with Other Drug Use Among Teenagers in the Republic of Ireland

"Cigarette smoking has been shown in other studies to act as a 'gateway' to cannabis use and further risk taking behaviours. This study aims to establish the prevalence of cigarette smoking and cannabis use in Irish teenagers, to quantify the strength and significance of the association of cigarette smoking and cannabis use and other high risk behaviours and to examine whether the above associations are independent of social networking (O'Cathail, et al. 2011).
"Adolescent students across five urban, non-fee paying, schools were invited to complete an abridged European schools survey project on alcohol and other drugs (ESPAD) questionnaire. The abridged questionnaire was completed by 370 out of a possible 417 students, giving a response rate of 88.7%. Of these, 228 (61.6%) were girls and 349 (94.3%) were aged 15–16 years.
"The proportion who had smoked cigarettes at some point in their life was 48.4% and 18.1% had smoked in the 30 days prior to the survey. Just over 15.1% used cannabis at some stage in their life and 5.7% had used it in the 30 days prior to the survey. A higher proportion of cigarette smokers (29.6%) had used cannabis compared with 1.6% of non-smokers. After controlling for the influence of other factors, hard drug (heroin or cocaine) use was six times more likely among lifetime cigarette smokers compared to non-smokers (adjusted OR=6.0, p<0.01); soft drug use (cannabis) was almost five times more common among smokers (adjusted OR=4.6, p<0.01); high-risk sex practices were almost 11 times more common among cigarette smokers (adjusted OR=10.6, p<0.05); poor examination results were almost three times more common among smokers (adjusted OR=2.9, p<0.0001); and being absent from school owing to illness was almost twice as likely among smokers (adjusted OR=1.9, p<0.01)."


Irish Focal Point (2012) "2012 National Report (2011 data) to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point." Ireland: new developments, trends and in-depth information on selected issues. Dublin: Health Research Board, p. 52.