Electronic cigarette use outcome expectancies among college students

Addict Behav. 2014 Jun;39(6):1062-5. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.02.014. Epub 2014 Mar 3.


Background: E-cigarette use outcome expectancies and their relationships with demographic and e-cigarette use variables are not well understood. Based on past cigarette as well as e-cigarette use research, we generated self-report items to assess e-cigarette outcome expectancies among college students. The objective was to determine different dimensions of e-cigarette use expectancies and their associations with e-cigarette use and use susceptibility.

Methods: Self-report data were collected from 307 multiethnic 4- and 2-year college students [M age=23.5 (SD=5.5); 65% Female; 35% current cigarette smokers] in Hawaii. Data analyses were conducted by using factor and regression analyses.

Results: Exploratory factor analysis among e-cigarette ever-users indicated 7 factors: 3 positive expectancy factors (social enhancement, affect regulation, positive sensory experience) and 4 negative expectancy factors (negative health consequences, addiction concern, negative appearance, negative sensory experience). Confirmatory factor analysis among e-cigarette never-users indicated that the 7-factor model fitted reasonably well to the data. Being a current cigarette smoker was positively associated with positive expectancies and inversely with negative expectancies. Higher positive expectancies were significantly associated with greater likelihood of past-30-day e-cigarette use. Except addiction concern, higher negative expectancies were significantly associated with lower likelihood of past-30-day e-cigarette use. Among e-cigarette never-users, positive expectancy variables were significantly associated with higher intentions to use e-cigarettes in the future, adjusting for current smoker status and demographic variables.

Conclusions: E-cigarette use expectancies determined in this study appear to predict e-cigarette use and use susceptibility among young adults and thus have important implications for future research.

Keywords: Electronic cigarettes; Outcome expectancies; Young adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / psychology*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Hawaii
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Self Report
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult