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Int J Drug Policy. 2019 Apr;66:57-63. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.01.018. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

Youth perspectives on concurrent smoking and vaping: Implications for tobacco control.

Author information

1
Prevention Research Center, 2150 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 601, Berkeley, CA 94704-1365, USA; Center for Critical Public Health, Institute for Scientific Analysis, 1150 Ballena Blvd, Suite 211, Alameda, CA 94501 USA. Electronic address: tamar@criticalpublichealth.org.
2
Prevention Research Center, 2150 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 601, Berkeley, CA 94704-1365, USA; Center for Critical Public Health, Institute for Scientific Analysis, 1150 Ballena Blvd, Suite 211, Alameda, CA 94501 USA; Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
3
Prevention Research Center, 2150 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 601, Berkeley, CA 94704-1365, USA.

Abstract

Most people who smoke cigarettes begin young. Consequently, public health efforts directed at youth are a priority. The increasing popularity of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) among youth in the United States has raised concerns in the public health community about the potential of ENDS to renormalize cigarette smoking and perpetuate nicotine addiction, creating dual users who both vape and smoke. Despite limited and inconclusive evidence about dual use for young people, restrictive approaches towards ENDS have shaped tobacco control agendas in the United States. Based on analysis of 26 interviews with young dual users in California, we explored the meanings young people ascribe to their dual using practices and how those meanings relate to the broader tobacco control environment which structures their lives. Results suggest that dual users of ENDS and cigarettes overwhelmingly perceive a utilitarian meaning of dual use and view vaping as a tool for reducing smoking-related harm in the near term and facilitating quitting smoking in the long term. Also, participants' narratives related to Tobacco 21 laws, which prohibit sales of both ENDS and cigarettes to individuals under 21 years of age, revealed concerns about restrictive policies that limit access to less harmful tobacco products. Results of this study raise important questions about whether we are working towards further reductions in the prevalence of smoking and tobacco-related diseases.

KEYWORDS:

Harm reduction; Smoking; Tobacco policy; Vaping; Youth

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