E-cigarette- specific symptoms of nicotine dependence among Texas adolescents

Addict Behav. 2018 Sep;84:57-61. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.03.032. Epub 2018 Mar 30.


Introduction: The potential of e-cigarettes to elicit symptoms of nicotine dependence has not been adequately studied, particularly in adolescent populations. The present study examined the prevalence of e-cigarette-specific symptoms of nicotine dependence ("symptoms of e-cigarette dependence") and the associations between these symptoms, e-cigarette usage group, and e-cigarette cessation-related items among Texas adolescents.

Methods: This study involved a cross-sectional analysis of adolescents from Wave 4 of the Texas Adolescent Tobacco and Marketing Surveillance System (TATAMS) (n = 2891/N = 461,069). Chi-Square analyses examined differences in the prevalence of symptoms of dependence by e-cigarette usage group (exclusive versus dual users of e-cigarettes and combustible tobacco products) and demographic characteristics. Weighted multivariable logistic regression analyses examined the associations between symptoms of e-cigarette dependence, e-cigarette usage group, and e-cigarette cessation items.

Results: Exclusive e-cigarette users experienced symptoms of e-cigarette dependence, although the prevalence of most of the symptoms was higher for dual users. Adolescents who reported more symptoms of dependence were less likely to report both wanting to quit e-cigarettes and a past-year quit attempt for e-cigarettes (adjusted odds ratio "AOR" = 0.61 (95% CI = 0.41, 0.92) and AOR = 0.52 (95% CI = 0.30, 0.92), respectively).

Conclusions: This study is the first to demonstrate that adolescent e-cigarette users are experiencing symptoms of dependence specific to e-cigarettes. In addition, symptoms of dependence may be barriers to e-cigarette cessation. Future research is needed to determine if characteristics of e-cigarette use (e.g. frequency and intensity) are associated with dependence.

Keywords: Adolescents; Dependence; E-cigarettes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irritable Mood
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Texas
  • Tobacco Use Cessation / psychology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / psychology
  • Vaping / physiopathology*
  • Vaping / psychology