Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems: International Tobacco Control Four-Country Survey

Am J Prev Med. 2013 Mar;44(3):207-15. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.10.018.

Abstract

Background: Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) initially emerged in 2003 and have since become widely available globally, particularly over the Internet.

Purpose: Data on ENDS usage patterns are limited. The current paper examines patterns of ENDS awareness, use, and product-associated beliefs among current and former smokers in four countries.

Methods: Data come from Wave 8 of the International Tobacco Control Four-Country Survey, collected July 2010 to June 2011 and analyzed through June 2012. Respondents included 5939 current and former smokers in Canada (n=1581); the U.S. (n=1520); the United Kingdom (UK; n=1325); and Australia (n=1513).

Results: Overall, 46.6% were aware of ENDS (U.S.: 73%, UK: 54%, Canada: 40%, Australia: 20%); 7.6% had tried ENDS (16% of those aware of ENDS); and 2.9% were current users (39% of triers). Awareness of ENDS was higher among younger, non-minority smokers with higher incomes who were heavier smokers. Prevalence of trying ENDS was higher among younger, nondaily smokers with a high income and among those who perceived ENDS as less harmful than traditional cigarettes. Current use was higher among both nondaily and heavy (≥20 cigarettes per day) smokers. In all, 79.8% reported using ENDS because they were considered less harmful than traditional cigarettes; 75.4% stated that they used ENDS to help them reduce their smoking; and 85.1% reported using ENDS to help them quit smoking.

Conclusions: Awareness of ENDS is high, especially in countries where they are legal (i.e., the U.S. and UK). Because trial was associated with nondaily smoking and a desire to quit smoking, ENDS may have the potential to serve as a cessation aid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Developed Countries
  • Drug Delivery Systems / instrumentation*
  • Electronics / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Legislation, Drug
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Nicotine