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Open AccessArticle

Perceptions of E-Cigarettes among Black Youth in California

1
Prevention Research Institute, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, 180 Grand Avenue., Suite 1200, Oakland, CA 94612, USA
2
Institute for Scientific Analysis, 1150 Ballena Blvd., Suite 211, Alameda, CA 94501, USA
3
Center for Alcohol and Drug Research, Aarhus University, Bartholins Allé 10, Building 1322, 334, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mark Wolfson
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14010060
Received: 12 November 2016 / Revised: 14 December 2016 / Accepted: 3 January 2017 / Published: 11 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue E-Cigarettes: Epidemiology, Policy and Public Health)
Research suggests that Black youth are less likely to use e-cigarettes than their white counterparts, yet little is known as to why. We examined perceptions of e-cigarettes among Black young adults (ages 18–25) to explore the meanings these youth ascribe to e-cigarettes and the role that identity plays in how these devices are viewed. Analysis of in-depth interviews with 36 Black smokers and non-smokers in the San Francisco Bay Area suggests that Black youth perceive e-cigarettes as serving distinct, yet overlapping roles: a utilitarian function, in that they are recognized as legitimate smoking cessation tools, and a social function, insofar as they serve to mark social identity, specifically a social identity from which our participants disassociated. Participants described e-cigarette users in highly racialized and classed terms and generally expressed disinterest in using e-cigarettes, due in part perhaps to the fact that use of these devices would signal alignment with a middle class, hipster identity. This analysis is discussed within a highly charged political and public health debate about the benefits and harms associated with e-cigarette use. View Full-Text
Keywords: ENDS; Black youth; cultural commodity; identity ENDS; Black youth; cultural commodity; identity
MDPI and ACS Style

Hess, C.A.; Antin, T.M.J.; Annechino, R.; Hunt, G. Perceptions of E-Cigarettes among Black Youth in California. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 60. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14010060

AMA Style

Hess CA, Antin TMJ, Annechino R, Hunt G. Perceptions of E-Cigarettes among Black Youth in California. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2017; 14(1):60. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14010060

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hess, Catherine A.; Antin, Tamar M.J.; Annechino, Rachelle; Hunt, Geoffrey. 2017. "Perceptions of E-Cigarettes among Black Youth in California" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 14, no. 1: 60. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14010060

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