142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Youth Perception of Harm and Use of Electronic Cigarettes

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014

Monica Daniel, MS , Community Health Promotion, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
Bart Hammig, PhD, MPH , Community Health Promotion, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
Background. From 2011 to 2012, youth initiation of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) increased from 0.6% to 1.1% in middle school and from 1.5% to 2.8% among high school students. While risk factors for use of traditional cigarettes are well established, little is known about the factors associated with use of e-cigarettes.

Methods. Data from the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey was obtained to assess self-reported use and perception of harm of e cigarettes. Multivariate logistic regression models were employed regressing past 30 day use and lifetime use as the covariate factors including demographic characteristics, familial factors, and perceptions of harm concerning e-cigarettes.  Odds ratio’s and 95% confidence intervals were calculated.  Data were analyzed using STATA MP/11.

Results. Those who perceived e-cigarettes as equally harmful as regular cigarettes had a lower odds of past 30 day use of e-cigarettes than those who found them less harmful than regular cigarettes (OR = .45, 95% CI: .25-.80). Similar findings were found for lifetime use (OR = .30, 95% CI: .25-.36).  Select demographic and household factors were also found to be significantly associated with the use of e-cigarettes.

Conclusion. Without conclusive evidence regarding the safety of e-cigarettes, it is unclear if they are more are less harmful than regular cigarettes; however, e-cigarette companies continue to make claims that they are safer than smoking a regular cigarette. These claims may be influencing the perception of harm of e-cigarettes among youth, and will be discussed.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify factors significantly associated with youth e-cigarette use.

Keyword(s): Youth, Tobacco Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal of a state funded prevention grant focusing on tobacco use in diverse populations. My research interests include evaluation of trends in youth and young adult tobacco use.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.