Introduction: The present study characterizes the tobacco use, quitting behaviors, and health characteristics of cigarette smokers who did not change their smoking pattern over the past 6 months and have used electronic cigarettes (ECs) in the past 30 days. This is an important subpopulation to characterize if EC dual use with cigarettes continues to grow.
Methods: Participants (N = 2,376) from a research survey panel completed an online cross-sectional survey between June and August 2012. Sampling was stratified to recruit equal numbers of cigarette smoking participants by race/ethnicity (Black, Hispanic, and Caucasian) and smoking frequency (nondaily and daily). All displayed a stable rate of smoking for the past 6 months and were not currently in treatment. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to examine correlates of current EC use (any use within the past 30 days).
Results: Current EC use was reported by 9.2% (n = 219) of the total sample. Of current EC users, 44% reported having used ECs as a quit method. Bivariate and multivariate analyses showed that current EC use was significantly associated with greater nicotine dependence, concurrent poly-tobacco use, more past-year quit attempts, past use of multiple cessation methods, and more depressive symptoms. No demographic variables were significantly associated with current EC use.
Conclusions: This study suggests that stable smokers who currently use ECs possess characteristics that are associated with difficulty in achieving smoking cessation. These characteristics should be considered when examining the effectiveness of ECs on cessation and in designing future cessation trials using ECs.
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