Adolescent E-Cigarette Users’ Perceptions of the Harm and Addictiveness of Conventional Cigarette Smoking
MetadataShow full item record
Nicotine addiction underlies the progression from cigarette experimentation to sustained smoking, which precipitates smoking-related diseases. Adolescents may be vulnerable to nicotine addiction because of ongoing brain development and greater brain sensitivity to nicotine. In addition, adolescents’ perceptions related to smoking may influence their smoking behavior, which in turn would increase their risk of nicotine addiction. Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use among adolescents has increased over the years and has surpassed conventional cigarette smoking. E-cigarette use may lead to the initiation of conventional cigarette smoking among adolescents, potentially resulting in nicotine addiction. Numerous studies now show that e-cigarette use is a risk factor for conventional cigarette smoking, but the mechanisms underlying this association are not clear. As e-cigarettes continue to rise in popularity and their association with conventional cigarette smoking becomes evident, it is important to explore how adolescent e-cigarette users compare with non-users (youth who are both non-e-cigarette users and non-conventional cigarette smokers), conventional cigarette smokers, and dual users (youth who use both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes) on perceptions of harm and addiction risk of conventional cigarette smoking, and on other known predictors of conventional cigarette smoking such as peer smoking (the number of friends who smoke), influence of antismoking ads, and risk-taking propensity (willingness to take risks).This will provide insights into why adolescent e-cigarette users are at risk for conventional cigarette smoking and could lead to the design of more effective campaigns that communicate potential harms and addictiveness of e-cigarettes. This research brief reports on a study that examined adolescent e-cigarette users’ perceptions of harm and addiction risk of conventional cigarette smoking while accounting for other factors such as peer smoking, perceived influence of antismoking ads, risk-taking propensity, sociodemographic variables. The data were from a national sample of eighth and tenth grade students collected through the Monitoring the Future Study, an annual national cross-sectional survey on adolescent substance use and related behaviors. This study extends the knowledge base by describing adolescent e-cigarette users’ attitudes and perceptions regarding conventional cigarette smoking that may leave them vulnerable to becoming conventional cigarette smokers.