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The Influence of Vaper and Smoker Identities on Young Adult Smokers Who Use Electronic Cigarettes

Principal Investigators: Marshall Cheney

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health - Grant

ID number: 1R03CA216832-01A1

Award Date: 9/21/2017

Institution: University of Oklahoma-Norman


Smoking behavior is generally viewed negatively by others. However, identifying as a “vaper” (e-cigarette user) provides a more positive social image and allows young adult dual users to distance themselves from having a smoker identity. More information on vaper identity, how smoker and vaper identities influence each other, and how these identities influence smoking and vaping behaviors over time would be useful. Researchers will recruit 500 young adult smokers (aged 18-29 years) who initiated e-cigarette use in the past six months to complete two online surveys administered six months apart; the surveys will examine how smoking and vaping behaviors and identities change over time. Researchers will then conduct on-line individual interviews with fifty participants who complete the second survey to explore the influence of social identity and social stigma on smoking and vaping behaviors, and if/how vaping and smoking identities changed over six months. Researchers will also validate measures of vaper identity and vaping stigma scales in young adult dual users. Study findings may inform regulatory activities related to e-cigarette marketing messages and practices.