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The prospective relationship between a-priori intentions for and patterns of e-cigarette use among adults who smoke cigarettes.

BACKGROUND: Electronic (e-)cigarettes may help adult cigarette smokers achieve cigarette cessation, depending on patterns of e-cigarette use. Among cigarette smokers who do not use e-cigarettes, it is unclear if and how a-priori intentions for use are related to uptake patterns. Longitudinal studies have focused on established e-cigarette users or adolescent and young adult populations exclusively.

METHODS: Within a nationwide randomized clinical trial (N = 638), adult cigarette smokers not currently using e-cigarettes were randomized (2:1) to receive (or not) one-month sampling of e-cigarettes. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was performed on an established 15-item measure assessing a-priori intentions for e-cigarette use to identify latent variables. Among those receiving e-cigarette products, regression models examined relationships between intentions and: 1) uptake (yes/no), 2) frequency (number of days per week), and 3) amount (puffing episodes per day) of e-cigarette use at one-month follow-up.

RESULTS: Two factors emerged from the EFA: 1) cigarette-related intentions (e.g., cigarette cessation, no smell) and 2) novel appeal of e-cigarettes (e.g., flavors). Three items remained and were treated as separate intentions: "feels like cigarette smoking", "curiosity", and "affordability". In the final multivariable models, "feel like cigarette smoking" predicted more frequent e-cigarette use (β = 0.187, SE = 0.086, p = 0.03); however, none of the five factors/intentions were significantly associated with uptake or amount of use.

CONCLUSIONS: For adult cigarette smokers not currently using e-cigarettes, a-priori intentions for using e-cigarettes might not be predictive of if or how these products will be used in the future, suggesting that motives may not drive use behavior.

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