E-cigarette cessation interest and quit attempts among young adults reporting exclusive e-cigarette use or dual use with other tobacco products: How can we reach them?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Tobacco prevention & cessation






cessation; e-cigarettes; perceptions; vaping; young adults


INTRODUCTION: There is limited evidence to inform e-cigarette quitting interventions. This mixed-methods study examined: 1) e-cigarette and other tobacco product perceptions and cessation-related factors; and 2) potential behavioral intervention strategies among young adults reporting exclusive e-cigarette use or dual use with other tobacco products. METHODS: We analyzed Fall 2020 survey data from 726 participants reporting past 6-month e-cigarette use (mean age=24.15 years, 51.1% female, 38.5% racial/ethnic minority) from 6 US metropolitan areas and Spring 2021 qualitative interview data from a subset (n=40), comparing tobacco-related perceptions and cessation-related factors among those reporting exclusive use versus dual use. RESULTS: Among survey participants (35.5% exclusive e-cigarette use, 64.5% dual use), those reporting dual use indicated greater importance of quitting all tobacco or nicotine products (mean=5.28, SD=3.44 vs mean=4.65, SD=3.75, p=0.033), whereas those reporting exclusive use expressed greater confidence in quitting e-cigarettes (mean=7.59, SD=3.06 vs mean=7.08, SD=3.01, p=0.029) and all tobacco and nicotine products (mean=7.00, SD=3.16 vs mean=6.31, SD=3.13, p=0.008), as well as less favorable perceptions (i.e. more harmful to health and addictive, less socially acceptable) of cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco (p<0.05). Interview participants (50.0% exclusive e-cigarette use; 50.0% dual use) attributed previous failed e-cigarette quit attempts to their inability to cope with social influences, stress, and withdrawal symptoms. Although most expressed disinterest in quitting due to belief of eventually outgrowing e-cigarettes (among those reporting exclusive use) or unreadiness to abstain from nicotine (among those reporting dual use), many acknowledged the need for quitting interventions. CONCLUSIONS: Young adult e-cigarette cessation interventions should target risk perceptions, cessation barriers, and social influences/support.


Prevention and Community Health