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Perceived benefits of e-cigarettes may lead to higher experimentation rates
Date:1/7/2014

ad author Kelvin Choi, PhD.

Specifically, the follow-up study found that 7.4% of participants who had never used an e-cigarette at baseline reported subsequently using an e-cigarette, with 21.6% among baseline current smokers, 11.9% among baseline former smokers, and 2.9% among baseline nonsmokers reporting use.

"The study showed that 2.9% of baseline nonsmokers in this U.S. regional sample of young adults reported ever using e-cigarettes at follow-up, suggesting an interest in e-cigarettes among nonsmoking young adults," explains Dr. Choi. "This is problematic because young adults are still developing their tobacco use behaviors, and e-cigarettes may introduce young adults to tobacco use, or promote dual use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products."

While the risks associated with long-term e-cigarette use are largely unknown, recent studies suggest that they can significantly increase plasma nicotine levels, which means they are potentially as addictive as cigarettes. "This study also suggested that about 12% of former young adults smokers at baseline were re-introduced to nicotine through e-cigarettes. Future prospective studies including adults of all ages are needed to confirm these finding related to e-cigarette use among nonsmokers and former smokers, and to determine the role of e-cigarettes on relapse of smoking," adds Dr. Choi.

This link between beliefs about e-cigarettes and subsequent experimentation can be used to guide future anti-nicotine and anti-smoking campaigns that encompass the new technology of e-cigarettes. "Understanding the specific beliefs that predict subsequent e-cigarette experimentation allows us to focus on these beliefs when designing public health messages," concludes Dr. Choi. "Results from this study suggest that messages about the lack of evidence on e-cigarettes being cessation aids, and the uncertainty of the risks associated with e-cigarette use may discourage young adults, particularly
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Contact: Angela J. Beck
ajbeck@umich.edu
734-764-8775
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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