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Am J Health Behav. 2016 Mar;40(2):268-79. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.40.2.12.

Electronic Cigarette Use in Straight-to-Work Young Adults.

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Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA.
Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA.



We explored beliefs about electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as well as social influences on e-cigarette use in straight-to-work (STW) young adults.


Thirty interviews were conducted with STW young adults ages 19-31 years old. We asked participants about smoking and e-cigarette use, beliefs about e-cigarettes, and influences on decisions to use e-cigarettes. We conducted interviews in community locations and transcribed and coded them using NVivo.


We identified 4 themes: benefits of e-cigarette use; dual use/continued smoking; social influences; and quitting smoking and e-cigarettes. STW young adults initiated e-cigarette use to quit smoking but most became dual users or reported cycles of smoking and e-cigarette use. Flavors were a primary attraction for e-cigarette users. Family and friends supported e-cigarette use and often provided participants with their first e-cigarette. Most participants who no longer identified as smokers still smoked occasionally. Users felt they were more positively perceived by others when they used e-cigarettes but were still seen as smokers or former smokers.


E-cigarette use may bring STW young adults closer to their aspirational identity of non-smoker but many may be vulnerable to smoking relapse or increased dependence on nicotine through dual use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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