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Electronic cigarette use among Korean adults



We investigated the prevalence and correlates of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use in a representative sample of Korean adults.


This cross-sectional study used data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2013. We analyzed 5338 subjects (≥19 years old) who provided data on e-cigarette use, sex, age, socioeconomic status, and health risk behaviors. Multivariate analyses were performed using logistic regression.


Using weighted samples, the prevalence of ever and current e-cigarette use were 6.6 and 1.1 %, respectively (11.2 and 2.0 % in men and 2.0 and 0.4 % in women). In multivariate analysis, the probability of ever e-cigarette use was highest in current smokers (OR 29.3, 95 % CI 15.5–55.3), former smokers (OR 6.1, 95 % CI 3.3–11.2), and daily heavy drinkers (OR 1.9, 95 % CI 1.1–3.4). Current e-cigarette use was associated with current smoking (OR 16.2, 95 % CI 4.7–55.4) and weekly heavy drinking (OR 2.7, 95 % CI 1.1–6.7).


E-cigarette use was strongly associated with conventional cigarette use and with frequent heavy drinking. Dual use e-cigarettes and conventional cigarette use as well as the association between heavy alcohol use and e-cigarettes need further exploration.

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Correspondence to Hong-Jun Cho.

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This article is part of the special issue "Electronic Cigarettes and Public Health".

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Lee, J.A., Kim, S.H. & Cho, H. Electronic cigarette use among Korean adults. Int J Public Health 61, 151–157 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-015-0763-y

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  • Electronic cigarettes
  • E-cigarettes
  • Smoking
  • Heavy drinking