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J Pediatr Nurs. 2019 Jul 27;48:82-91. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2019.07.010. [Epub ahead of print]

Listening to adolescents: Their perceptions and information sources about e-cigarettes.

Author information

1
School of Nursing, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, United States of America. Electronic address: eunheepa@buffalo.edu.
2
School of Nursing, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, United States of America. Electronic address: misolkwo@buffalo.edu.
3
School of Nursing, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, United States of America; Department of Nursing, SUNY, Erie, Williamsville, NY, United States of America. Electronic address: mgaughan@buffalo.edu.
4
School of Nursing, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, United States of America. Electronic address: jal7@buffalo.edu.
5
School of Nursing, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, United States of America. Electronic address: yc73@buffalo.edu.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

There has been a sharp increase in adolescent electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use, and e-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. middle and high school students. Frequent use among high school students was reported to be 27.7% in 2018, an increase of almost 8% from 2017. As yet we have only a limited understanding of adolescent perceptions of e-cigarettes and where adolescents receive information about them.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

Thirty-four adolescents from Western New York participated in semi-structured interviews. Both adolescents who had used e-cigarettes and never used e-cigarettes were included to capture a broad perspective. The interview data were analyzed using content analysis.

RESULTS:

Both adolescents who had used e-cigarettes and never used e-cigarettes acknowledged the popularity and acceptance of e-cigarettes among their peers. E-cigarettes were viewed as a healthy alternative to regular cigarettes that mimicked the appearance but were less harmful and more enjoyable. Reasons for not using e-cigarettes included harms to health, risk of addiction, and the gateway effects for other risky behaviors. Major information sources about e-cigarettes included advertisements, family, peers, social media, and the internet.

CONCLUSIONS:

Adolescent perceptions of e-cigarettes, which contribute to reasons for e-cigarette use or not use, and the sources of information that may influence those perceptions were identified.

PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS:

Our findings provide valuable information to guide prevention initiatives and develop interventions, particularly planning for preventive messages and effective communication methods to deliver for adolescents.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescent; Electronic cigarette; Information sources; Perception

PMID:
31362205
DOI:
10.1016/j.pedn.2019.07.010

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