Recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) statistics indicate that the increasing popularity of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is a serious threat to efforts to reduce nicotine addiction among adolescents and young adults. Kong and colleagues (2015) conducted a serious of focus groups with students at the middle school, high school, and college level to better understand their reasons for initiating e-cigarette use as well as for the decision of some to discontinue using e-cigarettes. Students from all age groups cited curiosity and the availability of various flavors as reasons for their initial interest in e-cigarettes. The researchers also found some age-specific reasons. Middle school students perceived e-cigarette use as a sign of maturity. High school and college students were more strongly influenced by e-cigarette use among their friends and family. Those who discontinued using e-cigarettes did so because they found them less satisfying than real cigarettes or because they lost their initial novelty. The authors suggested that e-cigarette use among adolescents and young adults may be reduced by regulating flavors to make e-cigarettes less appealing to young people as well as through educational programs about the potential harm of nicotine use.
Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Reasons for Using E-Cigarettes
Kong, G., Morean, M. E., Cavallo, D. A., Camenga, D. R., & Krishnan-Sarin, S. (2015). Reasons for electronic cigarette experimentation and discontinuation among adolescents and young adults. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 17(7), 847-854.
Addiction Adolescence Peer influence PersuasionMedia Supplement