Adolescents' and young adults' perceptions of electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation: A focus group study

Deepa R. Camenga, Dana A. Cavallo, Grace Kong, Meghan E. Morean, Christian M. Connell, Patricia Simon, Sandra M. Bulmer, Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Research has shown that adults perceive that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are effective for smoking cessation, yet little is known about adolescents and young adults' perceptions of e-cigarettes for quitting cigarette smoking. This study describes middle, high school, and college students' beliefs about, and experiences with, e-cigarettes for cigarette smoking cessation. Methods: We conducted 18 focus groups (n = 127) with male and female cigarette smokers and nonsmokers in 2 public colleges, 2 high schools, and 1 middle school in Connecticut between November 2012 and April 2013. Participants discussed cigarette smoking cessation in relation to e-cigarettes. Verbatim transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: All participants, regardless of age and smoking status, were aware that e-cigarettes could be used for smoking cessation. College and high school participants described different methods of how e-cigarettes could be used for smoking cessation: (a) nicotine reduction followed by cessation; (b) cigarette reduction/dual use; and (c) long-term exclusive e-cigarette use. However, overall, participants did not perceive that e-cigarette use led to successful quitting experiences. Participants described positive attributes (maintenance of smoking actions, "healthier" alternative to cigarettes, and parental approval) and negative attributes (persistence of craving, maintenance of addiction) of e-cigarettes for cessation. Some college students expressed distrust of marketing of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. Conclusions: Adolescent and young adult smokers and nonsmokers perceive that there are several methods of using e-cigarettes for quitting and are aware of both positive and negative aspects of the product. Future research is needed to determine the role of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1235-1241
Number of pages7
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Volume17
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2015

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Smoking Cessation
Focus Groups
Young Adult
Smoking
Tobacco Products
Electronic Cigarettes
Maintenance
Students
Marketing
Nicotine

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Camenga, Deepa R. ; Cavallo, Dana A. ; Kong, Grace ; Morean, Meghan E. ; Connell, Christian M. ; Simon, Patricia ; Bulmer, Sandra M. ; Krishnan-Sarin, Suchitra. / Adolescents' and young adults' perceptions of electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation : A focus group study. In: Nicotine and Tobacco Research. 2015 ; Vol. 17, No. 10. pp. 1235-1241.
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title = "Adolescents' and young adults' perceptions of electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation: A focus group study",
abstract = "Introduction: Research has shown that adults perceive that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are effective for smoking cessation, yet little is known about adolescents and young adults' perceptions of e-cigarettes for quitting cigarette smoking. This study describes middle, high school, and college students' beliefs about, and experiences with, e-cigarettes for cigarette smoking cessation. Methods: We conducted 18 focus groups (n = 127) with male and female cigarette smokers and nonsmokers in 2 public colleges, 2 high schools, and 1 middle school in Connecticut between November 2012 and April 2013. Participants discussed cigarette smoking cessation in relation to e-cigarettes. Verbatim transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: All participants, regardless of age and smoking status, were aware that e-cigarettes could be used for smoking cessation. College and high school participants described different methods of how e-cigarettes could be used for smoking cessation: (a) nicotine reduction followed by cessation; (b) cigarette reduction/dual use; and (c) long-term exclusive e-cigarette use. However, overall, participants did not perceive that e-cigarette use led to successful quitting experiences. Participants described positive attributes (maintenance of smoking actions, {"}healthier{"} alternative to cigarettes, and parental approval) and negative attributes (persistence of craving, maintenance of addiction) of e-cigarettes for cessation. Some college students expressed distrust of marketing of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. Conclusions: Adolescent and young adult smokers and nonsmokers perceive that there are several methods of using e-cigarettes for quitting and are aware of both positive and negative aspects of the product. Future research is needed to determine the role of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation in this population.",
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Camenga, DR, Cavallo, DA, Kong, G, Morean, ME, Connell, CM, Simon, P, Bulmer, SM & Krishnan-Sarin, S 2015, 'Adolescents' and young adults' perceptions of electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation: A focus group study', Nicotine and Tobacco Research, vol. 17, no. 10, pp. 1235-1241. https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntv020

Adolescents' and young adults' perceptions of electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation : A focus group study. / Camenga, Deepa R.; Cavallo, Dana A.; Kong, Grace; Morean, Meghan E.; Connell, Christian M.; Simon, Patricia; Bulmer, Sandra M.; Krishnan-Sarin, Suchitra.

In: Nicotine and Tobacco Research, Vol. 17, No. 10, 10.2015, p. 1235-1241.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T2 - A focus group study

AU - Camenga, Deepa R.

AU - Cavallo, Dana A.

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AU - Morean, Meghan E.

AU - Connell, Christian M.

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AU - Krishnan-Sarin, Suchitra

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N2 - Introduction: Research has shown that adults perceive that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are effective for smoking cessation, yet little is known about adolescents and young adults' perceptions of e-cigarettes for quitting cigarette smoking. This study describes middle, high school, and college students' beliefs about, and experiences with, e-cigarettes for cigarette smoking cessation. Methods: We conducted 18 focus groups (n = 127) with male and female cigarette smokers and nonsmokers in 2 public colleges, 2 high schools, and 1 middle school in Connecticut between November 2012 and April 2013. Participants discussed cigarette smoking cessation in relation to e-cigarettes. Verbatim transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: All participants, regardless of age and smoking status, were aware that e-cigarettes could be used for smoking cessation. College and high school participants described different methods of how e-cigarettes could be used for smoking cessation: (a) nicotine reduction followed by cessation; (b) cigarette reduction/dual use; and (c) long-term exclusive e-cigarette use. However, overall, participants did not perceive that e-cigarette use led to successful quitting experiences. Participants described positive attributes (maintenance of smoking actions, "healthier" alternative to cigarettes, and parental approval) and negative attributes (persistence of craving, maintenance of addiction) of e-cigarettes for cessation. Some college students expressed distrust of marketing of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. Conclusions: Adolescent and young adult smokers and nonsmokers perceive that there are several methods of using e-cigarettes for quitting and are aware of both positive and negative aspects of the product. Future research is needed to determine the role of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation in this population.

AB - Introduction: Research has shown that adults perceive that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are effective for smoking cessation, yet little is known about adolescents and young adults' perceptions of e-cigarettes for quitting cigarette smoking. This study describes middle, high school, and college students' beliefs about, and experiences with, e-cigarettes for cigarette smoking cessation. Methods: We conducted 18 focus groups (n = 127) with male and female cigarette smokers and nonsmokers in 2 public colleges, 2 high schools, and 1 middle school in Connecticut between November 2012 and April 2013. Participants discussed cigarette smoking cessation in relation to e-cigarettes. Verbatim transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: All participants, regardless of age and smoking status, were aware that e-cigarettes could be used for smoking cessation. College and high school participants described different methods of how e-cigarettes could be used for smoking cessation: (a) nicotine reduction followed by cessation; (b) cigarette reduction/dual use; and (c) long-term exclusive e-cigarette use. However, overall, participants did not perceive that e-cigarette use led to successful quitting experiences. Participants described positive attributes (maintenance of smoking actions, "healthier" alternative to cigarettes, and parental approval) and negative attributes (persistence of craving, maintenance of addiction) of e-cigarettes for cessation. Some college students expressed distrust of marketing of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. Conclusions: Adolescent and young adult smokers and nonsmokers perceive that there are several methods of using e-cigarettes for quitting and are aware of both positive and negative aspects of the product. Future research is needed to determine the role of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation in this population.

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