Title

'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

Authors

Zongshuan Duan, Department of Prevention and Community Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, 800 22nd St NW, #7000, Washington, DC 20052, USA.
Daisy Le, Department of Prevention and Community Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, 800 22nd St NW, #7000, Washington, DC 20052, USA.
Annie C. Ciceron, Department of Policy, Populations, and Systems, School of Nursing, George Washington University, 1919 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20052, USA.
Ruth Dickey-Chasins, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, 950 New Hampshire Ave NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20052, USA.
Christina N. Wysota, Department of Prevention and Community Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, 800 22nd St NW, #7000, Washington, DC 20052, USA.
Yael Bar-Zeev, Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hadassah Medical Organization, PO Box 12272, Jerusalem 9110202, Israel.
Hagai Levine, Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hadassah Medical Organization, PO Box 12272, Jerusalem 9110202, Israel.
Lorien C. Abroms, Department of Prevention and Community Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, 800 22nd St NW, #7000, Washington, DC 20052, USA.
Katelyn F. Romm, Department of Prevention and Community Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, 800 22nd St NW, #7000, Washington, DC 20052, USA.
Carla J. Berg, Department of Prevention and Community Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, 800 22nd St NW, #7000, Washington, DC 20052, USA.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

9-23-2022

Journal

Health education research

Volume

37

Issue

5

DOI

10.1093/her/cyac019

Abstract

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.

Department

Prevention and Community Health

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