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Adolescent E-cigarette Users at Highest Risk of Cigarette Smoking Intention

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Objectives: Adolescent e-cigarette users are at risk of developing smoking intention, an established predictor of conventional cigarette smoking. In this study, we identify subgroups of adolescent e-cigarette users who are most likely to intend to smoke conventional cigarettes.

Methods: Cross-sectional data on 1357 8th and 10th grade e-cigarette users who had never smoked conventional cigarettes were obtained from 2014-2017 Monitoring the Future Surveys. We conducted latent class analysis to identify subgroups of adolescent e-cigarette users; through latent class regression analysis, we examined the association between subgroup membership and smoking intention.

Results: We identified 3 subgroups of adolescent e-cigarette users: socially-protected (56.6%), peer-driven (29.8%), and market-vulnerable (13.6%). The peer-driven class reported the highest number of peers who smoke and the lowest proportion of friends who strongly disapproved of daily cigarette smoking. They were significantly more likely than the socially-protected and market-vulnerable classes to have smoking intention (AOR=2.46; 95% CI 1.84-3.28, and AOR=2.29; 95% CI 1.48-3.53, respectively).

Conclusion: Our findings provide insights on the constellation of risk and protective factors that contribute to smoking intention among adolescent e-cigarette users. It highlights peer influence as an important area of emphasis for adolescent smoking prevention programs.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Olusegun Owotomo, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC, United States 2: Julie Maslowsky, Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Associate Professor of Health Behavior & Health Education, Department of Kinesiology & Health Education, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, United States, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: July 1, 2021

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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