A Qualitative Approach to Understanding Real-World Electronic Cigarette Use: Implications for Measurement and Regulation

A Qualitative Approach to Understanding Real-World Electronic Cigarette Use: Implications for Measurement and Regulation

Maria Cooper, PhD; Melissa B. Harrell, PhD; Cheryl L. Perry, PhD

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Preventing Chronic Disease 2016;13:150502

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Introduction

“An understanding of the real-world use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is needed to inform surveillance efforts and future state and federal regulation. This study investigates the behavioral aspects of e-cigarette use.”

Results

“Several important themes emerged. Although most users started with “closed system” products, the majority switched from that type of e-cigarette to “open system” devices. Responses were diverse on preferred flavors, although mixing flavors was a common practice. Many users had difficulty estimating the total amount of e-liquid they used within a given period and described an iterative process in which they experimented with different nicotine levels to determine their preferred concentration. Reported frequency of use and puffing behaviors varied greatly between users and also differed from the way traditional cigarettes are smoked.”

Conclusion

“Results from this study have implications for developing appropriate survey metrics for e-cigarette surveillance, the regulation of flavorings, and reporting of e-cigarette product constituents.”

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