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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 Feb 1;159:80-5. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.11.028. Epub 2015 Dec 9.

"It's not smoke. It's not tar. It's not 4000 chemicals. Case closed": Exploring attitudes, beliefs, and perceived social norms of e-cigarette use among adult users.

Author information

1
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Tobacco Products, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20993, USA. Electronic address: Blair.Coleman@fda.hhs.gov.
2
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Tobacco Products, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20993, USA.
3
RTI International, 3040 E. Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.
4
Truth Initiative, Evaluation Science and Research, 900 G Street NW, Fourth Floor, Washington, DC 20001, USA.
5
Department of Behavioral & Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, 2242 Valley Drive, College Park, MD 20742, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use is rapidly increasing among adults in the U.S. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore consumer perceptions about e-cigarettes, including knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and perceived social norms.

METHODS:

A total of 14 focus groups (N=116) were conducted with current adult e-cigarette users in five U.S. cities from March through May, 2014. Focus groups were segmented by age (young adults aged 18-29 and older adults aged 30 and older) as well as by e-cigarette use status (exclusive e-cigarette users and non-exclusive e-cigarette users). Focus group discussions lasted approximately 60-min and were audio-recorded and transcribed; data were analyzed using a phenomenological approach.

RESULTS:

Participants expressed many positive attitudes towards e-cigarettes and simultaneously reported a lack of information and knowledge about the products. Focus group participants overwhelmingly felt as though the ingredients of e-cigarettes were likely less harmful than conventional cigarettes. Additionally, many described positive reactions from family and friends, especially when e-cigarettes were used in place of conventional cigarettes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings from this qualitative study provide insight into consumer knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about e-cigarettes increasing our understanding of why and how they are being used. Such information will help provide insight into the potential public health impact of these emerging products.

KEYWORDS:

Electronic cigarettes; Qualitative research; Tobacco use

PMID:
26708706
PMCID:
PMC4813813
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.11.028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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