Online Program

E-Cigarette Use among Youth: A Reasoned Action Approach

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Amanda Terry, MA, College of Health and Public Affairs, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
Ning Zhang, MD, PhD, MPH, Department of Interprofessional Health Sciences and Health Administration, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
Awareness and use of e-cigarettes are quickly rising due to the perception of less harmful use as opposed to conventional cigarettes. The purpose of this study is to explore individual motives and beliefs that are associated with youth e-cigarette use in Florida public schools based on a theoretical framework. Cross-sectional data from the 2014 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS) is examined (n=69,923). Binary logistic regression was used to examine the behaviors of youth e-cigarette use. Behavioral beliefs about the relative harm of e-cigarettes to conventional cigarettes, normative beliefs about whether a student’s family or peers use e-cigarettes, and control beliefs about a rule banning e-cigarettes on school property are statistically significant predicators of youth e-cigarette use among students in Florida public schools. The high odds ratios of normative beliefs illustrate their relative importance in comparison to behavioral beliefs and control beliefs in their relationships to youth e-cigarette use. This analysis marks the first effort of which we are aware to consider the use of e-cigarettes among youth from a theoretical perspective. The results show that this behavior may be predicted and explained through the reasoned action approach. The relative importance of descriptive normative beliefs involving a student’s family and peers is crucial in policy development. Efforts can be made to address social influences to use e-cigarettes and assist in the development of skills to resist social and environmental pressures, as well as increase understanding of nicotine addiction among youth and implement strict control and enforcement measures.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Name the three types of beliefs considered in the reasoned action approach. Discuss how behavioral beliefs, normative beliefs, and control beliefs are associated with youth e-cigarette use.

Keyword(s): Tobacco Use, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student and a research associate in the Doctoral Program in Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida. My research focuses on health policies of tobacco prevention and smoking cessation.
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.