'It's like if a vape pen and a cigarette had a baby': a mixed methods study of perceptions and use of IQOS among US young adults
Health education research
Young adults' perceptions and use of heated tobacco products (HTPs) are understudied. This mixed methods study analyzed (i) Fall 2020 survey data from 2470 US young adults (meanage = 24.67; 19.5% and 25.2% past-month cigarette and e-cigarette use; 4.1% ever HTP use) assessing HTP use intentions and perceptions (1 = not at all to 7 = extremely) and (ii) Spring 2021 interview data regarding IQOS (most widely available HTP) in a subset of 40 e-cigarette users. Among survey participants, HTPs versus cigarettes and e-cigarettes showed lower use intentions (mean = 1.27 vs. mean = 1.73, mean = 2.16) but were perceived as less addictive (mean = 5.11 vs. mean = 6.28, mean = 5.82) and harmful (mean = 5.37 vs. mean = 6.65, mean = 5.62). HTPs were perceived more socially acceptable than cigarettes but less than e-cigarettes (mean = 3.39 vs. mean = 3.13, mean = 4.37). Among interviewees, most reported limited HTP knowledge. A few perceived IQOS as a hybrid of traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Most perceived IQOS as harmful but less harmful than cigarettes and were uncertain in relation to e-cigarettes. Over half reported minimal interest in trying IQOS; common reasons included IQOS containing tobacco, limited flavors and use complexity. The varied perceptions of IQOS versus cigarettes and e-cigarettes underscore the need for continued surveillance of perceptions, use and marketing of IQOS to inform regulatory oversight and potential interventions.
Duan, Zongshuan; Le, Daisy; Ciceron, Annie C.; Dickey-Chasins, Ruth; Wysota, Christina N.; Bar-Zeev, Yael; Levine, Hagai; Abroms, Lorien C.; Romm, Katelyn F.; and Berg, Carla J., "'It's like if a vape pen and a cigarette had a baby': a mixed methods study of perceptions and use of IQOS among US young adults" (2022). GW Authored Works. Paper 1425.
Prevention and Community Health