Objectives: We investigated the frequency of alternative tobacco product use (loose leaf, moist snuff, snus, dissolvables, electronic cigarettes [e-cigarettes]) among smokers and the association with quit attempts and intentions.
Methods: A nationally representative probability-based cross-sectional survey of 1836 current or recently former adult smokers was completed in November 2011. Multivariate logistic regressions evaluated associations between alternative tobacco product use and smoking cessation behaviors.
Results: Of the smokers, 38% had tried an alternative tobacco product, most frequently e-cigarettes. Alternative tobacco product use was associated with having made a quit attempt, and those intending to quit were significantly more likely to have tried and to currently use the products than were smokers with no intentions to quit. Use was not associated with successful quit attempts. Interest in future use of alternative tobacco products was low, except for e-cigarettes.
Conclusions: Alternative tobacco products are attractive to smokers who want to quit smoking, but these data did not indicate that alternative tobacco products promote cessation. Unsubstantiated overt and implied claims that alternative tobacco products aid smoking cessation should be prohibited.