E-cigarettes: Who's using them and why?

Kelsey LeVault, Georgia Mueller-Luckey, Erika A. Waters, Amanda Fogleman, David Crumly, Wiley D. Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background ▸ Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are often marketed as safe and effective aids for quitting cigarette smoking, but concerns remain that use of e-cigarettes might actually reduce the number of quit attempts. To address these issues, we characterized the utilization and demographic correlates of dual use of e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes (referred to here as simply "cigarettes") among smokers in a rural population of Illinois. Methods ▸ The majority of survey participants were recruited from the 2014 Illinois State Fair and from another event - the Springfield Mile (a motorcycle racing event) - in Springfield, Ill. Survey questions explored participant demographics and cigarette and e-cigarette use history. Results ▸ Of 201 total cigarette smokers, 79 smoked only tobacco cigarettes (smokers), while 122 also used e-cigarettes (dual users). Dual users did not differ significantly from smokers in gender, age, income, or education. Compared to smokers, dual users were more likely to smoke within 30 minutes of awakening (odds ratio [OR]=3.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.8-6.3), but did not smoke more cigarettes per day or perceive a greater likelihood of quit success. Non-white dual users smoked fewer cigarettes per day than smokers. In addition, 79.5% of all dual users reported that they were using e-cigarettes to quit smoking or reduce the number of cigarettes smoked, and white respondents were 6 times more likely than non-whites to use e-cigarettes for 'trying to quit smoking' (OR=6.0; 95% CI, 1.1-32.9). Males and respondents with lower income were less likely to say they were using e-cigarettes to reduce the number of cigarettes smoked than females or participants with higher income (OR=0.2; 95% CI, 0.1-0.8 and OR=0.1; 95% CI, 0.0-0.5, respectively). Conclusions ▸ E-cigarettes may significantly alter the landscape of nicotine physical dependence, and local influences likely are associated with use patterns. Future research should continue to examine whether dual use of traditional and electronic cigarettes impacts smoking cessation, and clinicians should be aware that local norms may create differences from national level data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-397
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Family Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016

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