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Prev Med. 2019 Jan;118:66-72. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.10.003. Epub 2018 Oct 11.

The association between perceived e-cigarette and nicotine addictiveness, information-seeking, and e-cigarette trial among U.S. adults.

Author information

1
Tobacco Control Research Branch, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, United States of America. Electronic address: kara.wiseman@nih.gov.
2
Office of Science, Center for Tobacco Products, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD, United States of America.
3
Tobacco Control Research Branch, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, United States of America.

Abstract

Perceptions of harm and addictiveness are associated with smoking combusted cigarettes, but these factors have not been fully explored for e-cigarettes. Specifically, little is known about the perceived harm and addictiveness of e-cigarettes, or whether information-seeking about e-cigarettes is related to trying e-cigarettes. We aimed to determine the relationship between (1) perceived e-cigarette harm and addictiveness and trying e-cigarettes; (2) nicotine perceptions and trying e-cigarettes; and (3) e-cigarette information-seeking, Internet use, and trying e-cigarettes. We used data from the nationally representative 2015 Health Information National Trends Survey-FDA (HINTS-FDA 2015). Weighted multivariable logistic regression models assessed independent associations between perceived e-cigarette harm, perceived e-cigarette addictiveness, nicotine perceptions, e-cigarette information-seeking, personal Internet use, and trying e-cigarettes, among 3195 adults. Compared to people who believed e-cigarettes were equally or more addictive than combusted cigarettes, those who believed e-cigarettes were less addictive had 2.49 times the odds of trying e-cigarettes (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.30, 4.74). Perceived e-cigarette harm and nicotine perceptions were not associated with trying e-cigarettes. The positive association between e-cigarette addictiveness and trying e-cigarettes coupled with the lack of an association between nicotine perceptions and trying e-cigarettes suggests people do not fully understand that e-cigarettes contain nicotine and therefore could be addictive. People most frequently reported searching for information about potential health effects of e-cigarettes (37.9%), indicating that people are interested in learning about the potential impact of e-cigarette use on their health. People who searched for information about e-cigarettes had 10.23 higher odds of trying e-cigarettes (CI: 5.41, 19.33).

KEYWORDS:

Addictiveness perception; Electronic cigarettes; Harm perception; Health communication

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