Adolescent, Young Adult Pod-Based E-Cigarette Use Up

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Only 40% of e-cigarette users reported a perceived chance of experiencing social or health risks.

HealthDay News — Adolescents and young adults are increasingly using electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products such as pod-based systems but have misperceptions and lack of knowledge about these products, according to a study published online Oct. 19 in JAMA Network Open.

Karma McKelvey, Ph.D., from Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., and colleagues surveyed 445 California adolescents and young adults (mean age, 19.3 years) to measure their use and perceptions of risk from tobacco products. Ever-use information was provided by 437 participants.

The researchers found that 15.6 percent of respondents reported use of pod-based e-cigarettes, 30.4 percent reported use of e-cigarettes, and 24.3 percent reported use of cigarettes. Overall, the mean number of days that pod-based e-cigarettes were used in the past seven days was 1.5; the number was 6.7 for the past 30 days. For other e-cigarettes, the mean number of days on which they were used was 0.8 and 3.2 in the past seven and 30 days, respectively. The mean number of days that cigarettes were used in the past seven and 30 days was 0.7 and 3.0, respectively. Menthol or mint was reported by 26.5 percent of ever users of pod-based e-cigarettes as the first e-liquid flavor used versus 27.9 percent reporting fruit flavors. For other e-cigarette users, mint was reported by 9.8 percent and fruit flavors were reported by 37.6 percent. Forty percent of e-cigarette users overall reported a perceived chance of experiencing social risks or short-term and long-term health risks from the use of e-cigarettes.

“Rapid innovation by e-cigarette manufacturers suggests that public health and prevention efforts appear to be needed to include messages targeting components common to all current and emerging e-cigarette products to increase knowledge and decrease misperceptions, with the goal to try to ultimately reduce e-cigarette use among adolescents and young adults,” the authors write.

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