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

Abstract

Objectives

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

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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

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Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Carla J. Berg.

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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.

Funding

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

Additional information

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

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Cite this article

Berg, C.J. Preferred flavors and reasons for e-cigarette use and discontinued use among never, current, and former smokers. Int J Public Health 61, 225–236 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-015-0764-x

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Keywords

  • E-cigarettes
  • Harm reduction
  • Smoking cessation
  • Tobacco marketing
  • Tobacco control