E-cigarette Use and Subsequent Smoking Frequency Among Adolescents

Pediatrics. 2018 Dec;142(6):e20180486. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-0486. Epub 2018 Nov 5.


: media-1vid110.1542/5839992666001PEDS-VA_2018-0486Video Abstract BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use is associated with cigarette initiation among adolescents. However, it is unclear whether e-cigarette use is associated with more frequent cigarette use after initiation. Also, the extent to which cigarette or dual cigarette and e-cigarette users transition to exclusive e-cigarette use or to the nonuse of either product is not yet known.

Methods: Data were pooled from 3 prospective cohort studies in California and Connecticut (baseline: 2013-2014; follow-up: 2014-2016; N = 6258). Polytomous regression models were used to evaluate the association of baseline e-cigarette use (never or ever) with cigarette use frequency at follow-up (experimental: initiation but no past-30-day use; infrequent: 1-2 of the past 30 days; frequent: 3-5 or more of the past 30 days). Polytomous regression models were also used to evaluate transitions between baseline ever or past-30-day single or dual product use and past-30-day single or dual product use at follow-up.

Results: Among baseline never smokers, e-cigarette users had greater odds of subsequent experimental (odds ratio [OR] = 4.58; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.56-5.88), infrequent (OR = 4.27; 95% CI: 2.75-6.62) or frequent (OR = 3.51; 95% CI: 1.97-6.24) cigarette use; the 3 OR estimates were not significantly different. Baseline past-30-day exclusive cigarette use was associated with higher odds at follow-up of exclusive cigarette or dual product use than of exclusive e-cigarette use.

Conclusions: Tobacco control policy to reduce adolescent use of both e-cigarettes and cigarettes is needed to prevent progression to more frequent tobacco use patterns and reduce combustible cigarette use (with or without concurrent e-cigarette use) to lessen the adverse public health impact of e-cigarettes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Cigarette Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Cigarette Smoking / psychology*
  • Cigarette Smoking / trends
  • Cohort Studies
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Vaping / epidemiology*
  • Vaping / psychology*
  • Vaping / trends