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Racial/Ethnic Differences in Electronic Cigarette Use and Reasons for Use Among Current and Former Smokers: Findings From a Community-Based Sample


Racial/Ethnic Differences in Electronic Cigarette Use and Reasons for Use Among Current and Former Smokers: Findings From a Community-Based Sample

Monica Webb Hooper et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health.


The prevalence of e-cigarette use is increasing, yet few studies have focused on its use in racial/ethnic minority populations. We examined associations between race/ethnicity and e-cigarette use, plans to continue using e-cigarettes, and reasons for use among current/former smokers. Participants (285 in total; 29% non-Hispanic White, 42% African American/Black, and 29% Hispanic) were recruited between June and November 2014. Telephone-administered surveys assessed demographics, cigarette smoking, e-cigarette use, plans to continue using, and reasons for use. Analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs) and multivariable logistic regressions were conducted. African Americans/Blacks were significantly less likely to report ever-use compared to Whites and Hispanics (50% vs. 71% and 71%, respectively; p < 0.001). However, African American/Black ever users were more likely to report plans to continue using e-cigarettes compared to Whites and Hispanics (72% vs. 53% and 47%, respectively, p = 0.01). African American/Black participants were more likely to use e-cigarettes as a cessation aid compared to both Whites (p = 0.03) and Hispanics (p = 0.48). White participants were more likely to use e-cigarettes to save money compared to Hispanics (p = 0.02). In conclusion, racial/ethnic differences in e-cigarette use, intentions, and reasons for use emerged in our study. African American ever users may be particularly vulnerable to maintaining their use, particularly to try to quit smoking. These findings have implications for cigarette smoking and e-cigarette dual use, continued e-cigarette use, and potentially for smoking-related disparities.

Keywords: African Americans; Hispanics; e-cigarette; electronic nicotine delivery systems; racial/ethnic minorities; smoking.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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