Title: Experimentation and Correlates of Electronic Cigarettes (E-cigarettes) Among Dental Students
Kamran Habib Awan (Presenter)
Roseman University of Health Sciences
Jennifer Brehove, Roseman University of Health Sciences
Kelly Binding, Roseman University of Health Sciences
Stephanie Stevens, Roseman University of Health Sciences
Emily Pearson, Roseman University of Health Sciences
Objectives: E-cigarettes are becoming popular among youth as safe nicotine delivery systems. Many have expressed concern, however, that e-cigarettes may serve as a gateway to future smoking, given their low perceived risk, or that their use may prevent regular smokers from quitting by maintaining their nicotine addiction. The aim of this study was to assess experimentation with and correlates of e-cigarette use among university students.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out among 220 dental students at a university in Utah in June–September 2017. A modified version of the World Health Organization’s Global Adult Tobacco Survey was used, and multinomial logistic regression was carried out to assess correlations with e-cigarette variables in the whole study sample and among smokers.
Results: Almost all students, including the majority of ex-smokers (96.3%) and smokers (94.4%), reported having heard about e-cigarettes. In addition, about one-quarter of the sample (54.2% of smokers, 24.7% of ex-smokers, 6% of never smokers) had experimented with e-cigarettes at least once during their lifetime. Curiosity and peer influence were reported as the main reasons for the use of e-cigarettes. Factors found to be correlated significantly with e-cigarette use were male gender, being a traditional cigarette smoker, having friends who have tried e-cigarettes, and having a strong belief that e-cigarettes could aid smoking cessation.
Conclusions: E-cigarettes are popular among university students, especially among smokers and ex-smokers. Well-designed health education programs and regulatory interventions are required to address this issue.