The social norms and beliefs of teenage male electronic cigarette use

J Ethn Subst Abuse. 2013;12(4):300-7. doi: 10.1080/15332640.2013.819310.


Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are novel, battery-operated inhalation devices that provide warm, vaporized nicotine, and often propylene glycol, to users without the inclusion of tobacco smoke. Because men, in general, are more likely to use cigarettes and illicit drugs than women, a qualitative study was undertaken to investigate the beliefs and perceived social norms regarding this issue among 47 teenage boys who self-identified themselves as current e-cigarette smokers. The majority of respondents reported that they used e-cigarettes because of expeditious consumption and concealment. Furthermore, the most common places respondents self-reported using e-cigarettes were everywhere, in school bathrooms, at home, and in school staircases. Interestingly, respondents stated that e-cigarettes are popular because they are accessible, healthier than tobacco cigarettes, and more aesthetically pleasing. Because of the growing popularity and uncertainty regarding the social and physical consequences of e-cigarettes, this study shows a need for additional research discovery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Data Collection
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Propylene Glycol / chemistry
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Social Perception*
  • Social Values


  • Propylene Glycol
  • Nicotine