Ever Use of Nicotine and Nonnicotine Electronic Cigarettes Among High School Students in Ontario, Canada

Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 Oct;17(10):1212-8. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu234. Epub 2014 Oct 30.


Introduction: There are limited data on the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) among youth, particularly with regard to the use of nicotine versus nonnicotine products. This study investigates ever use of nicotine and nonnicotine e-cigarettes and examines the demographic and behavioral correlates of e-cigarette use in Ontario, Canada.

Methods: Data for 2,892 high school students were derived from the 2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey. This province-wide school-based survey is based on a 2-stage cluster design. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to investigate the factors associated with ever use of e-cigarettes. Ever use of e-cigarettes was derived from the question, "Have you ever smoked at least one puff from an electronic cigarette?" All analyses included appropriate adjustments for the complex study design.

Results: Fifteen percent of high school students reported using e-cigarettes in their lifetime. Most students who ever used e-cigarettes reported using e-cigarettes without nicotine (72%), but 28% had used e-cigarettes with nicotine. Male, White/Caucasian, and rural students, as well as those with a history of using tobacco cigarettes, were at greater odds of e-cigarette use. Seven percent of students who had never smoked a tobacco cigarette in their lifetime reported using an e-cigarette. Five percent of those who had ever used an e-cigarette had never smoked a tobacco cigarette.

Conclusion: More students reported ever using e-cigarettes without nicotine than with nicotine in Ontario, Canada. This underscores the need for greater knowledge of the contents of both nicotine and nonnicotine e-cigarettes to better guide public health policies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Schools
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Students / psychology
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*


  • Nicotine