Associations Between E-Cigarette Type, Frequency of Use, and Quitting Smoking: Findings From a Longitudinal Online Panel Survey in Great Britain

Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 Oct;17(10):1187-94. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv078. Epub 2015 Apr 20.


Introduction: E-cigarettes can be categorized into two basic types, (1) cigalikes, that are disposable or use pre-filled cartridges and (2) tanks, that can be refilled with liquids. The aims of this study were to examine: (1) predictors of using the two e-cigarette types, and (2) the association between type used, frequency of use (daily vs. non-daily vs. no use), and quitting.

Methods: Online longitudinal survey of smokers in Great Britain was first conducted in November 2012. Of 4064 respondents meeting inclusion criteria at baseline, this study included (N = 1643) current smokers followed-up 1 year later. Type and frequency of e-cigarette use were measured at follow-up.

Results: At follow-up, 64% reported no e-cigarette use, 27% used cigalikes, and 9% used tanks. Among e-cigarette users at follow-up, respondents most likely to use tanks versus cigalikes included: 40-54 versus 18-24 year olds and those with low versus moderate/high education. Compared to no e-cigarette use at follow-up, non-daily cigalike users were less likely to have quit smoking since baseline (P = .0002), daily cigalike or non-daily tank users were no more or less likely to have quit (P = .3644 and P = .4216, respectively), and daily tank users were more likely to have quit (P = .0012).

Conclusions: Whether e-cigarette use is associated with quitting depends on type and frequency of use. Compared with respondents not using e-cigarettes, daily tank users were more likely, and non-daily cigalike users were less likely, to have quit. Tanks were more likely to be used by older respondents and respondents with lower education.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking Cessation / methods
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tobacco Use Disorder
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Young Adult