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Article
E-Cigarette Awareness and Perceived Harmfulness: Prevalence and Associations with Smoking-Cessation Outcomes
American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2014)
  • Andy SL Tan, University of Pennsylvania
  • Cabral A Bigman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract

Background: Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are increasingly advertised as replacements for regular cigarettes or cessation aids for smokers.

Purpose: To describe the prevalence and correlates of e-cigarette awareness and perceived harmfulness among U.S. adults and analyze whether these variables are associated with smokers’ past-year quit attempts and intention to quit.

Methods: Data were obtained from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS 4 Cycle 2), conducted from October 2012 to January 2013. Data analyses were performed from June to August 2013.

Results: Overall, 77% of respondents were aware of e-cigarettes. Of these, 51% believed e-cigarettes were less harmful than cigarettes. Younger, white (compared with Hispanic), more educated respondents and current or former smokers (compared with non-smokers) were more likely to be aware of e-cigarettes. Among those who were aware of e-cigarettes, younger, more educated respondents and current smokers (compared with former and non-smokers) were more likely to believe that e-cigarettes were less harmful. Awareness and perceived harm were not associated with smokers’ past year quit attempts or intention to quit.

Conclusions: Overall e-cigarette awareness increased whereas the proportion of smokers who perceived less harm of e-cigarettes declined compared with earlier surveys. However, awareness and perceived harm of e-cigarettes did not show evidence of promoting smoking cessation at the population level.

Keywords
  • e-cigarette,
  • awareness,
  • perceived harmfulness,
  • smoking cessation,
  • U.S.
Publication Date
2014
Citation Information
Andy SL Tan and Cabral A Bigman. "E-Cigarette Awareness and Perceived Harmfulness: Prevalence and Associations with Smoking-Cessation Outcomes" American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2014)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/andysltan/15/