Next Article in Journal
Correction: Soppa, V.J., et al. Respiratory Effects of Fine and Ultrafine Particles from Indoor Sources—A Randomized Sham-Controlled Exposure Study of Healthy Volunteers Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 6871–6889
Next Article in Special Issue
Comparison of Select Analytes in Exhaled Aerosol from E-Cigarettes with Exhaled Smoke from a Conventional Cigarette and Exhaled Breaths
Previous Article in Journal
Telephone-Based Adiposity Prevention for Families with Overweight Children (T.A.F.F.-Study): One Year Outcome of a Randomized, Controlled Trial
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Case in Favor of E-Cigarettes for Tobacco Harm Reduction
Open AccessArticle

Reasons for Starting and Stopping Electronic Cigarette Use

Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Campus Box 7295, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina, Campus Box 7440, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
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;
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)
PDF [694 KB, uploaded 3 October 2014]


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

Figure 1

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

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.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top