Introduction: Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use is increasing rapidly, and the impact on youth is unknown. We assessed associations between e-cigarette use and smoking intentions among US youth who had never smoked conventional cigarettes.
Methods: We analyzed data from the nationally representative 2011, 2012, and 2013 National Youth Tobacco Surveys of students in grades 6-12. Youth reporting they would definitely not smoke in the next year or if offered a cigarette by a friend were defined as not having an intention to smoke; all others were classified as having positive intention to smoke conventional cigarettes. Demographics, pro-tobacco advertisement exposure, ever use of e-cigarettes, and ever use of other combustibles (cigars, hookah, bidis, kreteks, and pipes) and noncombustibles (chewing tobacco, snuff, dip, snus, and dissolvables) were included in multivariate analyses that assessed associations with smoking intentions among never-cigarette-smoking youth.
Results: Between 2011 and 2013, the number of never-smoking youth who used e-cigarettes increased 3-fold, from 79,000 to more than 263,000. Intention to smoke conventional cigarettes was 43.9% among ever e-cigarette users and 21.5% among never users. Ever e-cigarette users had higher adjusted odds for having smoking intentions than never users (adjusted odds ratio = 1.70, 95% confidence interval = 1.24-2.32). Those who ever used other combustibles, ever used noncombustibles, or reported pro-tobacco advertisement exposure also had increased odds for smoking intentions.
Conclusion: In 2013, more than a quarter million never-smoking youth used e-cigarettes. E-cigarette use is associated with increased intentions to smoke cigarettes, and enhanced prevention efforts for youth are important for all forms of tobacco, including e-cigarettes.
Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco 2014. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.