A survey of middle and high school students reveals that predictors of continued e-cigarette use include low cost, desire to quit, and the ability to use e-cigarettes anywhere.
The most common reasons teens gave for initially trying e-cigarettes were curiosity, a cool factor and because of their friends. But six months later, none of those reasons were significant predictors of continued e-cigarette use, reported Krysten W. Bold, PhD, of Yale University, in New Haven, Conn, and colleagues, writing in Pediatrics.
Only 5.9% of students said they tried e-cigarettes in an effort to quit smoking, but smoking cessation was the only reason that was significantly associated with continued e-cigarette use in a multivariate analysis, albeit with wide confidence intervals (adjusted OR 14.54, 95% CI 1.80-117.80, P<0.05). Other demographic predictors of continued use were combustible cigarette use and younger age at e-cigarette initiation.
The authors also noted that after 6 months, 80% of teens who said they were using e-cigarettes to quit smoking were still smoking traditional cigarettes.
Harold J. Farber, MD, of Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, told MedPage Today via email that this study was impressive not for what was found, but for what was not found, especially in terms of predictors for continued use.
“Coolness, appeal, flavors, low cost, use by peers, etc. drives initiation, but nicotine dependence drives continued use,” said Farber, who was not involved with the research. “These results highlight the great importance of prevention of initiation of e-cigarette use by youth.”