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Appeal and Use of Customizable E-cigarette Product Features in Adolescents

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Objectives: We evaluated the appeal and use of e-cigarette product features in a sample of high school students in Connecticut. Methods: In 2015, we conducted school-wide surveys in 8 high schools and analyzed data from 1765 students (877 susceptible tobacco-naïve never-e-cigarette users, 315 susceptible tobacco-exposed never-e-cigarette users, and 656 current e-cigarette users). Students were asked: "What is cool about e-cigarettes?" Response options included e-liquid ingredients (eg, flavors, nicotine content, propylene glycol/vegetable glycerin ratio [ie, PG/VG), the heating source (eg, battery), and physical design (eg, color, shape, appearance). Students were asked: "How do you customize your e-cigarette?" (Change flavors, voltage, PG/VG levels, temperature, skin/tank color, other) and use of nicotine in the e-liquid (yes/no). Multivariable regression assessed associations between current e-cigarette users' customization and e-cigarette use frequency (#days/month). Results: Flavors were the most appealing product feature among all groups. Among current users, using nicotine e-liquid was more prevalent than changing flavors (44.2% vs 29.6%). Using nicotine e-liquids and changing PG/VG ratios were associated with more frequent e-cigarette use among current users. Conclusions: These findings can inform tobacco regulatory actions that put forth evidence-based recommendations to manufacture e-liquid flavors, nicotine concentrations and PG/VG ratios that prevent e-cigarette initiation and escalation of use.
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Keywords: ADOLESCENT HEALTH; E-CIGARETTES; SURVEY METHODS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2018

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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