Vaping, Perceptions of Vaping, and Plans to Quit Among E-cigarette Users in the United States and the United Kingdom.

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DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntac092


INTRODUCTION: Government and health organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom have taken different stances on e-cigarettes policy. To explore the potential effects of these policies, we describe e-cigarette user characteristics, intentions to quit, and perceived attitudes toward vaping.

METHODS: We used the online crowdsourcing platform Prolific to conduct a cross-sectional survey of current vapers in both countries. Measures were drawn from international surveys.

RESULTS: The sample included 1044 vapers (524 United Kingdom; 520 United States) with a mean age of 34. Samples differed by gender (United States: 57% male vs 45% in United Kingdom), race (United States: 79% White vs 90% in United Kingdom) and employment (United States: 73% employed vs 79% in United Kingdom). UK respondents were more likely than US respondents to be ever smokers (89% vs 71%, p < .0001); be daily vapers (69% vs 53%, p < .0001) and to use e-cigarettes to quit smoking (75% vs 65%, p < .0007). Most vapers in the United Kingdom and the United States want to stop vaping (62% vs 61%; p < .9493), but US respondents plan to quit significantly sooner (odds ratio 0.47, p < .0004). Attitudes differed as well. Over half (56%) of UK respondents reported their government-approved e-cigarette use, and 24% felt health care providers had positive views on e-cigarettes versus 29% and 13% from the United States, respectively (p < .0004 for both).

CONCLUSIONS: Plans for quitting and perceptions regarding e-cigarettes differ markedly between demographically similar groups of vapers in the two countries. Future research should determine whether e-cigarette cessation for adults should be a public health goal, and if so, identify effective ways to stop.

IMPLICATIONS: The contribution of this study is that it describes differences in behaviors and attitudes of vapers recruited through the same research platform and adjusted to account for minor demographic differences across country samples. For clinicians, these findings suggest that most vapers would welcome assistance in quitting. For researchers and policymakers, findings suggest that government policy regarding nicotine devices might influence behaviors and attitudes related to use and also that future research is needed to determine effective ways to quit.

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Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco





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