Use of E-Cigarettes Among Current Smokers: Associations Among Reasons for Use, Quit Intentions, and Current Tobacco Use

Lila J Finney Rutten, Kelly D Blake, Amenah A Agunwamba, Rachel A Grana, Patrick M Wilson, Jon O Ebbert, Janet Okamoto, Scott J Leischow
Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2015, 17 (10): 1228-34

INTRODUCTION: Research has documented growing availability and use of e-cigarettes in the United States over the last decade.

METHODS: We conducted a national panel survey of current adult cigarette smokers to assess attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors relating to e-cigarette use in the United States (N = 2,254).

RESULTS: Among current cigarette smokers, 20.4% reported current use of e-cigarettes on some days and 3.7% reported daily use. Reported reasons for e-cigarette use included: quit smoking (58.4%), reduce smoking (57.9%), and reduce health risks (51.9%). No significant differences in sociodemographic characteristics between e-cigarette users and nonusers were observed. Prior quit attempts were reported more frequently among e-cigarette users (82.8%) than nonusers (74.0%). Intention to quit was reported more frequently among e-cigarette users (64.7%) than nonusers (46.8%). Smokers intending to quit were more likely to be e-cigarette users than those not intending to quit (odds ratio [OR] = 1.90, CI =1.36-2.65). Those who used e-cigarettes to try to quit smoking (OR = 2.25, CI = 1.25-4.05), reduce stress (OR = 3.66, CI = 1.11-12.09), or because they cost less (OR = 3.42, CI = 1.64-7.13) were more likely to report decreases in cigarette smoking than those who did not indicate these reasons. Smokers who reported using e-cigarettes to quit smoking (OR = 16.25, CI = 8.32-31.74) or reduce stress (OR = 4.30, CI = 1.32-14.09) were significantly more likely to report an intention to quit than those who did not indicate those reasons for using e-cigarettes.

CONCLUSIONS: Nearly a quarter of smokers in our study reported e-cigarettes use, primarily motivated by intentions to quit or reduce smoking. These findings identify a clinical and public health opportunity to re-engage smokers in cessation efforts.


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