Online Program

Prevalence and correlates of e-cigarette use among California adolescents

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Georgiana Bostean, Ph.D., Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Science & Schmid College of Science and Technology, Chapman University, Orange, CA
Background. Electronic nicotine delivery system (e-cigarette) use is rapidly increasing among youth, yet predictors of this emerging health behavior are not well understood. The aim of this study is to document the prevalence and correlates of e-cigarette use among California middle school and high school students. The study examines the link between e-cigarette use, conventional cigarette smoking, alcohol and marijuana use, and sociodemographic, psycho-social, and school-contextual correlates.

Methods. The 2013-2014 California Healthy Kids Survey (n= 445,292) data on middle and high school students (grades 6-12) were analyzed. Prevalence of e-cigarette use (lifetime and past 30 days) and patterns of use (tried once; experimented, < 3 days in past 30; frequent user) were assessed across socio-demographic groups. A series of multivariate logistic regression models estimated odds ratios of e-cigarette use based on hypothesized risk factors, including, cigarette smoking (never smokers, experimenters, and frequent smokers), alcohol use (at least one drink in past 30 days and binge drinking), and past 30 day marijuana use.

Results. Among California students, 25% have ever used e-cigarettes (5% tried once, 13% experimenters, 6.5% frequent users); of those, 60% have never smoked cigarettes. Correlates of e-cigarette use include: conventional cigarette smoking, alcohol use, marijuana use, lower academic achievement, lower parental education, lower perceived risk of occasional cigarette smoking, greater perceived ease of access to cigarettes, reported depressive symptoms, and worse school climate.

Conclusions. E-cigarette use among adolescents is associated with cigarette smoking, alcohol and marijuana use, and other correlates. However, approximately half of California adolescent e-cigarette users have never smoked cigarettes, whereas youth e-cigarette users nationally are much more likely to be smokers. E-cigarette use, particularly among non-smoking adolescents, is an emerging public health concern.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the characteristics of e-cigarette users. Identify the behavioral, demographic, psycho-social, and contextual correlates of e-cigarette use.

Keyword(s): Behavioral Research, Tobacco Control

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a sociologist and demographer with postdoctoral training in cancer prevention and control research. My research on health disparities has been funded by the National Science Foundation. I currently study the emerging health behavior of electronic cigarette use, which has implications for tobacco control.
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.