Conditional risk assessment of adolescents' electronic cigarette perceptions

Am J Health Behav. 2015 May;39(3):421-32. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.39.3.14.


Objectives: To adapt an established instrument for measuring adolescents' cigarette-related perceptions for new application with electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes).

Methods: In this exploratory study, 104 male high school students (40% tobacco ever-users) estimated the probability of potential e-cigarette risks (eg, lung cancer) or benefits (eg, look cool). We calculated associations between risk/benefit composite scores, ever-use, and use intention for e-cigarettes, and analogously, for combustible cigarettes.

Results: E-cigarette ever-use was associated with lower perceived risks, with adjusted differences versus never-users greater for e-cigarettes than for cigarettes. Risk composite score was inversely associated, and benefit score positively associated, with e-cigarette ever-use and use intention.

Conclusion: Conditional risk assessment characterized adolescents' perceived e-cigarette risk/benefit profile, with potential utility for risk-perception measurement in future studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*