Association between electronic cigarette use and openness to cigarette smoking among US young adults

Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 Feb;17(2):212-8. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu211. Epub 2014 Nov 4.


Introduction: Use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), including electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), is increasing. One concern is the appeal of these products to youth and young adults and the potential to influence perceptions and use of conventional cigarettes.

Methods: Using data from the 2012-2013 National Adult Tobacco Survey, characteristics of adults aged 18-29 years who had never established cigarette smoking behavior were examined by ever use of e-cigarettes, demographics, and ever use of other tobacco products (smokeless tobacco, cigars, hookah, and cigarettes). Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between e-cigarette use and openness to cigarette smoking among young adults, defined as the lack of a firm intention not to smoke soon or in the next year.

Results: Among young adults who had never established cigarette smoking behavior (unweighted n = 4,310), 7.9% reported having ever tried e-cigarettes, and 14.6% of those who reported having ever tried e-cigarettes also reported current use of the product. Ever e-cigarette use was associated with being open to cigarette smoking (adjusted odds ratio = 2.4; 95% confidence interval = 1.7, 3.3), as was being male, aged 18-24 years, less educated, and having ever used hookah or experimented with conventional cigarettes.

Conclusions: Ever use of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products was associated with being open to cigarette smoking. This study does not allow us to assess the directionality of this association, so future longitudinal research is needed to illuminate tobacco use behaviors over time as well as provide additional insight on the relationship between ENDS use and conventional cigarette use among young adult populations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Behavior, Addictive*
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / psychology
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Nicotine