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Open Access Electronic Cigarette Use among Current Smokers: A Pilot Qualitative Study

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Objective: This pilot study explored psychosocial influences of e-cigarette use among dual users. Methods: Two focus groups among adult current smokers who had ever used e-cigarettes were conducted in Georgia. Discussions were audio-recorded. Principles of grounded theory and thematic analysis were employed. Results: Reasons for initial use included curiosity and social influence. Themes related to regular use included enjoyment of sensory experiences and perception of reduced harm. Nicotine craving, social image, and convenience were reasons for initial and regular dual use. Two patterns of use emerged – (1) using e-cigarettes to supplement combustible cigarettes; and (2) to replace combustible cigarettes. Conclusions: Reasons for dual use were related to nicotine dependence, social influence, product appeal, and perception of reduced harm. Understanding contextual nuances of dual use can inform policy and communication.

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Keywords: CIGARETTE SMOKING; DUAL USE OF E-CIGARETTES AND COMBUSTIBLE CIGARETTES; E-CIGARETTES; NICOTINE ADDICTION; NICOTINE CRAVING; SOCIAL IMAGE; SOCIAL INFLUENCE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA

Publication date: 01 November 2016

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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