Electronic cigarettes in adults in outpatient substance use treatment: Awareness, perceptions, use, and reasons for use

Erica N. Peters, Paul T. Harrell, Peter S. Hendricks, Kevin E. O'grady, Wallace B. Pickworth, Frank J. Vocci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Objectives Most studies on e-cigarettes have come from population-based surveys. The current research aimed to provide initial data on e-cigarette awareness, perceptions, use, and reasons for use among adults seeking substance use treatment. Methods A survey was conducted among 198 participants ≥18 years old in a community-based outpatient substance use treatment program. Results Of the 198 participants, 69% currently smoked cigarettes, 92% were aware of e-cigarettes, and 58% had ever used e-cigarettes. The proportion of the number of participants who had ever used e-cigarettes to the number who currently smoked (89.7%) appeared higher than the corresponding proportion in the 2012-13 National Adult Tobacco Survey (78.3%). Almost half of the sample who reported ever using e-cigarettes endorsed quitting or reducing smoking as a reason for use, and 32% endorsed reasons for use relating to curiosity/experimentation. A greater likelihood of e-cigarette ever-use was significantly associated with younger age (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.94, 95%confidence interval [CI] = 0.90, 0.98) and perceptions related to using e-cigarettes in public places where smoking cigarettes is not allowed (AOR = 2.96, 95%CI = 1.18, 7.42) but was not associated with primary drug of choice. Discussion and Conclusions E-cigarette use in adults seeking substance use treatment appears higher than it is in the US general population of smokers. The high frequency of use may be due to curiosity/experimentation or attempts to quit or reduce smoking. Scientific Significance Future research may consider how e-cigarettes interact with other substance use and affect high rates of nicotine and tobacco use in this population. (Am J Addict 2015;24:233-239)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-239
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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