Electronic Cigarette Use Among High School Students and Its Association With Cigarette Use And Smoking Cessation, North Carolina Youth Tobacco Surveys, 2011 and 2013

Prev Chronic Dis. 2016 Aug 4;13:E103. doi: 10.5888/pcd13.150564.


Introduction: Although adolescent cigarette use continues to decline in the United States, electronic cigarette (e‑cigarette) use among adolescents has escalated rapidly. This study assessed trends and patterns of e‑cigarette use and concurrent cigarette smoking and the relationships between e-cigarette use and smoking cessation intentions and behaviors among high school students in North Carolina.

Methods: Data came from high school students who completed the school-based, cross-sectional North Carolina Youth Tobacco Survey in 2011 (n = 4,791) and 2013 (n = 4,092). This study assessed changes in prevalence of e-cigarette and cigarette use from 2011 through 2013, and cessation-related factors associated with those students' current and past use of e‑cigarettes in 2013.

Results: The prevalence of current e-cigarette use (use in the past 30 days) significantly increased from 1.7% (95% CI, 1.3%-2.2%) in 2011 to 7.7% (95% CI, 5.9%-10.0%) in 2013. Among dual users, current e-cigarette use was negatively associated with intention to quit cigarette smoking for good (relative risk ratio [RRR] = 0.51; 95% CI, 0.29-0.87) and with attempts to quit cigarette smoking in the past 12 months (RRR = 0.69; 95% CI, 0.49-0.97). Current e-cigarette smokers were less likely than those who only smoked cigarettes to have ever abstained from cigarette smoking for 6 months (RRR = 0.42; 95% CI, 0.21-0.82) or 1 year (RRR = 0.21; 95% CI, 0.09-0.51) and to have used any kind of aids for smoking cessation (RRR = 0.46; 95% CI, 0.29-0.74).

Conclusion: Public health practitioners and cessation clinic service providers should educate adolescents about the risks of using any nicotine-containing products, including e-cigarettes, and provide adequate tobacco cessation resources and counseling to adolescent tobacco users.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Counseling
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / trends
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • North Carolina
  • Odds Ratio
  • Schools
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires