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E-cigarette use among Serbian adults: prevalence and user characteristics

Abstract

Objectives

The objective was to report the prevalence and characteristics of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) users in order to inform an appropriate response to this emerging challenge in tobacco control.

Methods

Data were drawn from a cross-sectional survey conducted in 2014 that used computer-assisted interviewing in a representative sample of 5385 Serbian adults age 18–64 years.

Results

Lifetime e-cigarette use and current use was reported by 9.6 and 2 % of adults, respectively. Younger adults had a higher prevalence of both lifetime and current use. Females were more likely to be current e-cigarette users than males. The majority of ever and current e-cigarette users were current or past cigarette smokers, but lifetime use was reported by non-smokers as well.

Conclusions

Electronic cigarettes are popular in Serbia; one in ten adults had tried them at least once. Because females and young adults were more likely to use e-cigarettes, a targeted response in these specific groups is needed. A standardised methodology for monitoring e-cigarette use should be established and surveys exploring motives for and attitudes towards e-cigarettes use should be conducted.

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Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge Mr Harald Oechsler, researcher at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Addiction Research, University of Hamburg (ZIS) and Ms Minja Milovanovic, research psychologist at the Perinatal HIV research Unit, Faculty of Health Science in the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, for proof reading the manuscript. Data used for the analysis are from the National Survey on Lifestyles of Citizens of Serbia in 2014. The authors acknowledge the Institute of Public Health of Serbia which carried out the survey with the support of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)—within its European Union financed IPA project 2011/280 - 057 “Preparation of IPA Beneficiaries for their participation with the EMCDDA” and the Twinning project SR 10 IB JH 02 “Implementation of Strategy to Fight Against Drugs (supply and demand reduction components)”. This publication was supported by institutional support program of Charles University in Prague No. PRVOUK-P03/LF1/9 and the project “National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH-CZ) “Grant Number CZ.1.05/2.1.00/03.0078, and the European Regional Development Fund.

Author information

Correspondence to Biljana Kilibarda.

Additional information

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

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Cite this article

Kilibarda, B., Mravcik, V. & Martens, M.S. E-cigarette use among Serbian adults: prevalence and user characteristics. Int J Public Health 61, 167–175 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-016-0787-y

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Keywords

  • Electronic cigarette
  • E-cigarette
  • Prevalence
  • Socio-demographic correlates