International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 225–236 | Cite as

Preferred flavors and reasons for e-cigarette use and discontinued use among never, current, and former smokers

  • Carla J. BergEmail author
Original Article



To compare e-cigarette flavors preferred and reasons for use and discontinued use across never, current, and former e-cigarette users and cigarette smokers.


We recruited 1567 participants aged 18–34 years through Facebook ads targeting tobacco users and nonusers in August 2014 to complete an online survey. We assessed tobacco use, preferred flavors, and reasons for e-cigarette use and discontinued use.


Our sample was 49 % male, 87 % White; 56 % current cigarette smokers; and 53 % e-cigarette users. Current e-cigarette users used an average of 20.9 days in the past 30 (SD = 11.7) and 55.2 puffs/day (SD = 37.3). Compared to never and current smokers, former smokers used e-cigarettes more frequently (p’s <0.001). Among users and nonusers, the most preferred was fruit flavors, and the most commonly reported reason for e-cigarette use was “they might be less harmful than cigarettes”. The most endorsed reason for discontinued e-cigarette use was “using other tobacco products instead”. Never, current, and former smokers had distinct reasons for e-cigarette use and discontinued use and differed in flavor preferences.


Regulating marketing and flavors may impact e-cigarette uptake by young adults.


E-cigarettes Harm reduction Smoking cessation Tobacco marketing Tobacco control 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Statement of ethical approval

The Emory University Institutional Review Board approved this study, IRB# 00073636.


This research was supported by the National Cancer Institute (1K07CA139114-01A1; PI: Berg) and the Georgia Cancer Coalition (PI: Berg).


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health EducationEmory University School of Public HealthAtlantaUSA

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