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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 798; doi:10.3390/ijerph14070798

Online Vape Shop Customers Who Use E-Cigarettes Report Abstinence from Smoking and Improved Quality of Life, But a Substantial Minority Still Have Vaping-Related Health Concerns

1
Applied Psychology Unit, Thomas More Mechelen-Antwerp University College, Molenstraat 8, 2018 Antwerp, Belgium
2
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, KU Leuven—University of Leuven, Tiensestraat 102, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 17 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Cigarette Use and Public Health)
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Abstract

(1) Background: Characteristics and usage patterns of vapers (e-cigarette users) have mainly been studied in web-based convenience samples or in visitors of brick-and-mortar vape shops. We extended this by targeting customers of one particular online vape shop in the Netherlands; (2) Methods: Customers were questioned on their smoking history, current smoking and vaping status, reasons for vaping, perceived harmfulness, and potential health changes due to vaping; (3) Results: Almost everyone (99%, 95% CI 0.96, 1.00) smoked before they started vaping. A great majority agreed that unlike with other smoking-cessation aids, they could quit smoking (81%, 95% CI 0.79, 0.90) due to vaping. Almost all customers were regular vapers (93.6%, 95% CI 0.89, 0.96) who used state-of-the-art open system devices without modifications and e-liquid with 10 mg/mL nicotine on average. Vapers reported using e-cigs to quit smoking, because e-cigs are healthier, and for financial reasons. The majority (52.6%, 95% CI 0.46, 0.60) perceived vaping as not that harmful to not harmful at all, but one fifth (21.8%, 95% CI 0.16, 0.28) believed vaping to be harmful. More than half (57.8%, 95% CI 0.50, 0.65) reported gaining more pleasure from vaping than from smoking. A substantial majority (84.2%, 95% CI 0.78, 0.89) agreed that their health had improved since they started vaping; (4) Conclusions: Findings are similar to those obtained in other vape shop studies, but also to the results of convenience samples of less-well-defined populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: electronic cigarette; online vape shop customers; vaping; smoking cessation; perception electronic cigarette; online vape shop customers; vaping; smoking cessation; perception
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Gucht, D.V.; Adriaens, K.; Baeyens, F. Online Vape Shop Customers Who Use E-Cigarettes Report Abstinence from Smoking and Improved Quality of Life, But a Substantial Minority Still Have Vaping-Related Health Concerns. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 798.

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