Category: Addictive Behaviors
Originally advertised as smoking cessation devices, electronic cigarettes are increasing in popularity among adolescents and non-smokers. Their efficacy as smoking cessation devices is disputed, and recent literature has identified potential health consequences associated with electronic cigarette use. This study examined if electronic cigarette use in college students predicted reported intentions of future use of conventional cigarettes. A chi-square test of independence was conducted and results indicated that exclusive electronic cigarette users were more likely than nonusers to indicate interest in trying conventional cigarettes in the future. Specifically, individuals who were exclusively using electronic cigarettes reported interest in trying a cigarette in the future at a higher proportion than expected, while individuals who denied current nicotine use reported less interest in trying cigarettes in the future than expected. Although electronic cigarettes are often marketed as smoking cessation devices, this study suggests that a portion of electronic cigarette users exclusively use electronic cigarettes and report no history of cigarette use. Individuals who reported using more than one tobacco product were asked about the order of initiation of tobacco products and 30% reported using electronic cigarettes as their first tobacco product. Additionally, these exclusive electronic cigarette users are more likely than non-users to indicate interest in trying a cigarette. These results are important as they suggest that electronic cigarettes may serve as a gate-way to cigarette use.