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Electronic Cigarette Use in Straight-to-Work Young Adults

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Objective: We explored beliefs about electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as well as social influences on e-cigarette use in straight-to-work (STW) young adults. Methods: Thirty interviews were conducted with STW young adults ages 19-31 years old. We asked participants about smoking and e-cigarette use, beliefs about e-cigarettes, and influences on decisions to use e-cigarettes. We conducted interviews in community locations and transcribed and coded them using NVivo. Results: We identified 4 themes: benefits of e-cigarette use; dual use/continued smoking; social influences; and quitting smoking and e-cigarettes. STW young adults initiated e-cigarette use to quit smoking but most became dual users or reported cycles of smoking and e-cigarette use. Flavors were a primary attraction for e-cigarette users. Family and friends supported e-cigarette use and often provided participants with their first e-cigarette. Most participants who no longer identified as smokers still smoked occasionally. Users felt they were more positively perceived by others when they used e-cigarettes but were still seen as smokers or former smokers. Conclusions: E-cigarette use may bring STW young adults closer to their aspirational identity of non-smoker but many may be vulnerable to smoking relapse or increased dependence on nicotine through dual use.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK;, Email: [email protected] 2: Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Publication date: March 1, 2016

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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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