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Article

“It’s Cool, Modifying and All, but I Don’t Want Anything Blowing Up on Me:” A Focus Group Study of Motivations to Modify Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)

1
School of Journalism, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211-1200, USA
2
School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302-3995, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Michael Stephen Dunbar and Joan S. Tucker
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 11735; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182211735
Received: 8 October 2021 / Revised: 2 November 2021 / Accepted: 5 November 2021 / Published: 9 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends in Combustible Tobacco and Vaping Product Use)
Introduction: Modifications to electronic nicoti ne delivery systems (ENDS) can pose health risks to users. This study explored users’ motivations for modifying ENDS devices and how perceived risks of modifications influenced modification behaviors as product availability and device characteristics changed over time. Method: We conducted nine focus groups (February–June 2020) with 32 current ENDS users (18+, used ENDS in the past 30 days, and had been using ENDS for more than 2 months). Results: Participants primarily modified ENDS devices to improve their experiences, such as experimenting with flavor, controlling nicotine levels, or using cannabis products with ENDS. Another reason for modifying was routine maintenance to ensure a satisfactory experience, including maintaining coils and keeping batteries charged. The broader availability of ENDS products shifted modification behaviors over time, with newer devices making some modifications (e.g., coil replacement) easier and making more intricate modifications (e.g., building coil from scratch) less common. Participants were aware of modification dangers and cited perceived risk as the reason for avoiding certain modifications, such as battery alterations. Conclusions: Modifications of ENDS are ongoing and evolving among users and should be considered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory decision-makers as product authorization reviews are conducted and product standards are developed. View Full-Text
Keywords: ENDS modifications; vaping; e-liquids; cannabis; coils ENDS modifications; vaping; e-liquids; cannabis; coils
MDPI and ACS Style

Massey, Z.B.; Fairman, R.T.; Churchill, V.; Ashley, D.L.; Popova, L. “It’s Cool, Modifying and All, but I Don’t Want Anything Blowing Up on Me:” A Focus Group Study of Motivations to Modify Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 11735. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182211735

AMA Style

Massey ZB, Fairman RT, Churchill V, Ashley DL, Popova L. “It’s Cool, Modifying and All, but I Don’t Want Anything Blowing Up on Me:” A Focus Group Study of Motivations to Modify Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(22):11735. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182211735

Chicago/Turabian Style

Massey, Zachary B., Robert T. Fairman, Victoria Churchill, David L. Ashley, and Lucy Popova. 2021. "“It’s Cool, Modifying and All, but I Don’t Want Anything Blowing Up on Me:” A Focus Group Study of Motivations to Modify Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 22: 11735. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182211735

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