Fear of E-Cigarette Harm Cuts Teenagers’ Use

Teen smoking an e-cigarette
Teen smoking an e-cigarette
Greater perceived harm from e-cigarettes lessened the likelihood that teens would use them.

HealthDay News — Greater perceived harm from e-cigarettes lessens the likelihood that teens will use them, according to a study published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preventing Chronic Disease.

Sarah D. Kowitt, MPH, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues examined factors associated with e-cigarette use among 1627 high school students participating in the 2015 North Carolina Youth Tobacco Survey.

The researchers found that greater perception of harm from e-cigarettes was associated with lower odds of susceptibility to using e-cigarettes (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.79) and current use of e-cigarettes (aOR, 0.43).

Greater perceived harm of secondhand e-cigarette vapor yielded similar results. Susceptibility to using e-cigarettes was associated with exposure to e-cigarette vapor in indoor or outdoor public places (AOR, 1.96), as was current e-cigarette use (AOR, 5.69).

“To prevent initiation of e-cigarette use, particularly among adolescents not susceptible to smoking cigarettes, educational campaigns could target harm perceptions associated with e-cigarettes,” the authors wrote.

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Kowitt SD, Osman A, Ranney LM, Heck C, Goldstein AO. E-cigarette use among adolescents not susceptible to using cigarettes [published online February 1, 2018]. Prev Chronic Dis. doi:10.5888/pcd15.170368