Use of electronic cigarettes among state tobacco cessation quitline callers

Nicotine Tob Res. 2013 Oct;15(10):1787-91. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntt061. Epub 2013 May 8.


Introduction: Little is known about the prevalence of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use among tobacco users who seek help from state tobacco quitlines, the reasons for its use, and whether e-cigarettes impact a user's ability to successfully quit tobacco. This study investigates these questions and describes differences among state quitline callers who used e-cigarettes for 1 month or more, used e-cigarettes for less than 1 month, or never tried e-cigarettes.

Methods: Data on e-cigarette use were collected from 2,758 callers to 6 state tobacco quitlines 7 months after they received intervention from the quitline program.

Results: Nearly one third (30.9%) of respondents reported ever using or trying e-cigarettes; most used for a short period of time (61.7% for less than 1 month). The most frequently reported reasons for use were to help quit other tobacco (51.3%) or to replace other tobacco (15.2%). Both e-cigarette user groups were significantly less likely to be tobacco abstinent at the 7-month survey compared with participants who had never tried e-cigarettes (30-day point prevalence quit rates: 21.7% and 16.6% vs. 31.3%, p < .001). Demographic differences between the 3 groups are discussed.

Conclusions: This study offers a preliminary look at e-cigarette use among state quitline callers and is perhaps the first to describe e-cigarette use in a large group of tobacco users seeking treatment. The notable rates of e-cigarette use and use of e-cigarettes as cessation aids, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved e-cigarettes for this purpose, should inform policy and treatment discussions on this topic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Electronics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Tobacco Use Cessation Devices*
  • Young Adult