Objective: This study provides insight into how electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) may affect the social normative environment for tobacco use among college students.
Participants: Participants were 244 freshman and sophomore students.
Methods: Students completed an online self-report survey in April 2011.
Results: There is a higher acceptance rate of e-cigarette smoking in public than traditional tobacco. For intention to use an e-cigarette, the strongest predictor is current tobacco use, followed by a positive orientation toward public use of e-cigarettes. Positive orientation toward public use of e-cigarettes is significantly predicted by the use of alternate tobacco, intention to use or try e-cigarettes, positive orientation toward public use of tobacco, positive attitude toward e-cigarettes, positive perception of social norms for use of e-cigarettes, and favorable orientation toward e-cigarettes as an innovation.
Conclusions: These models suggest attitudinal, social normative, innovation, and behavioral factors may combine to bring the e-cigarette into wider use among college students.
Keywords: attitudes; diffusion of innovations; electronic cigarettes; smoking laws; social norms.