Comparison of beliefs about e-cigarettes' harms and benefits among never users and ever users of e-cigarettes

Andy S.L. Tan, Chul joo Lee, Cabral A. Bigman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: E-cigarette use is rapidly increasing, especially among youth and young adults. We need to learn what factors are associated with uptake in e-cigarettes. One important set of predictors is beliefs about e-cigarettes' potential harms and benefits. Methods: Online survey data were collected in July, 2014 from 527 U.S. adults from a nationally representative online panel (KnowledgePanel) who reported being aware of e-cigarettes. Participants were asked to rate 7 statements related to e-cigarettes harms or benefits (e.g., breathing vapors from other people's e-cigarettes is harmful to my health; vaping or using e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking regular cigarettes completely). Responses were categorized into agree, disagree, or no opinion. We compared the proportions of agreement between respondents who ever used e-cigarettes and those who had never used. Multinomial logistic regression was used to predict agree or no opinion versus disagree (base outcome) for each belief. Relative risk ratios (RRRs) are reported. The analyses were completed in December, 2014 and were weighted to match the general U.S. adult population. Results: Agreement across the 7 beliefs ranged from 33% (vaping can help people quit smoking) to 56% (e-cigarettes make smoking look more acceptable to youth). Ever use of e-cigarettes was associated with lower relative risk of agreeing with statements about potential harms and higher relative risk of agreeing with statements about benefits (versus disagreeing) compared with never users. Discussion: These findings provide timely data on beliefs about e-cigarettes between e-cigarette users and non-users to inform potential message topics for health campaign interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Beliefs
  • Benefits
  • Electronic cigarette
  • Harms
  • Public opinion
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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