[2951.660] Electronic Cigarette Use among Young Adults

Regina M. Shaefer, Karen M. Wilson, Robert C. McMillen, Jonathan D. Klein. Richmond Center, AAP, Elk Grove Village, IL; Children's Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado, Denver, CO; Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS.

BACKGROUND: Electronic cigarette use has risen quickly, with adult awareness doubling from 16.4% in 2009 to 32.2% in 2010 and ever-use for adults rising rapidly from 0.6% in 2009 to 2.7% in 2010, and ever-use among 6th-12th grade students rising from 3.3% in 2011 to 6.8% in 2012. Little information exists on how young adults use e-cigarettes.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the use of e-cigarettes and predictors of/motivations for use among young adults (ages 18-24).
DESIGN/METHODS: An online survey was administered to a nationally representative sample of US adults age 18+. Survey items to assess e-cigarette use are from the PATH study. Chi-square analyses were used to examine predictors of use; multivariate analyses controlled for demographics.
RESULTS: Of eligible panelists contacted, 3250 (88%) completed the survey; 299 (9%) were young adults 18-24 years. Most young adults (86.3%) had heard of electronic cigarettes. Ever using e-cigarettes (20.1% vs 12.2%; p<.0001) and past 30 day E-cig use (8.8% vs 5.4%; p<.05) were higher among young adults than among adults over 25. Among ever users, young adults all reported using menthol or fruit flavored e-cigarettes, (100.0% vs 64.6% for adults >25 yrs.; p<.001). Among ever users, young adults are more likely than adults age 25+ to use e-cigarettes because they perceive them to be less harmful to themselves (89.8% vs 73.7%; p<.01) or to people around them (86.5% vs 70.4%; p<.05), and believe they are more acceptable to non-tobacco users (81.4% vs 68.4%; p<.05). Adults age 25+ were more likely to use e-cigarettes as an alternative to quitting than were young adults (58.1% vs 6.9%; p<.0001). In multivariate analysis, ever use of e-cigarettes is associated with younger age (18-24 years), current or former smoking, being White or Hispanic, and being male.
CONCLUSIONS: Young adults exclusively use flavored e-cigarettes. Many young adult users are current and former smokers, suggesting e-cigarettes are used to maintain nicotine addiction and use may re-expose former smokers to nicotine. Additionally, young adults are not using e-cigarettes as a cessation alternative. Continued research on patterns of use of these products in young adults is needed, particularly to understand age of initiation, flavoring, and influence of marketing, and to inform public policy and regulatory action.


Session: Poster Session: General Pediatrics & Preventive Pediatrics (4:15 PM - 7:30 PM)
Date/Time: Sunday, May 4, 2014 - 4:15 PM
Room: Exhibit Hall C - Vancouver Convention Centre
Board: 660
Course Code: 2951


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