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Open AccessArticle

Reasons for Starting and Stopping Electronic Cigarette Use

1
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Campus Box 7295, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
2
Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina, Campus Box 7440, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
3
Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, 528 Westside Research Office Bldg., 1747 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60608, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(10), 10345-10361; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111010345
Received: 29 June 2014 / Revised: 28 September 2014 / Accepted: 28 September 2014 / Published: 3 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Cigarettes as a Tool in Tobacco Harm Reduction)
The aim of our study was to explore reasons for starting and then stopping electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use. Among a national sample of 3878 U.S. adults who reported ever trying e-cigarettes, the most common reasons for trying were curiosity (53%); because a friend or family member used, gave, or offered e-cigarettes (34%); and quitting or reducing smoking (30%). Nearly two-thirds (65%) of people who started using e-cigarettes later stopped using them. Discontinuation was more common among those whose main reason for trying was not goal-oriented (e.g., curiosity) than goal-oriented (e.g., quitting smoking) (81% vs. 45%, p < 0.001). The most common reasons for stopping e-cigarette use were that respondents were just experimenting (49%), using e-cigarettes did not feel like smoking cigarettes (15%), and users did not like the taste (14%). Our results suggest there are two categories of e-cigarette users: those who try for goal-oriented reasons and typically continue using and those who try for non-goal-oriented reasons and then typically stop using. Research should distinguish e-cigarette experimenters from motivated users whose decisions to discontinue relate to the utility or experience of use. Depending on whether e-cigarettes prove to be effective smoking cessation tools or whether they deter cessation, public health programs may need distinct strategies to reach and influence different types of users. View Full-Text
Keywords: electronic cigarettes; e-cigarettes; tobacco use; smoking cessation electronic cigarettes; e-cigarettes; tobacco use; smoking cessation
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Pepper, J.K.; Ribisl, K.M.; Emery, S.L.; Brewer, N.T. Reasons for Starting and Stopping Electronic Cigarette Use. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 10345-10361.

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