U.S. flag An official website of the United States government
  1. Home
  2. Tobacco Products
  3. Tobacco Science & Research
  4. Research
  5. Perceptions, Initiation, and Use of E-cigarettes among Middle School Students: A New Generation of Tobacco Users?
  1. Research

Perceptions, Initiation, and Use of E-cigarettes among Middle School Students: A New Generation of Tobacco Users?

Principal Investigator: Erika Westling

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – Grant

ID number: 1R03CA206551-01A1

Award Date: 9/20/2016

Institution: Oregon Research Institute


E-cigarette use is growing among youth. Additional scientific knowledge regarding why e-cigarettes appeal to youth, the effects of e-cigarette use, and how e-cigarette marketing influences adolescents’ beliefs, intentions, and willingness to use these products would be useful. The goal of this study is to generate scientific data on e-cigarette marketing impact, access to products, and initiation and use among youth. Study aims are: (1) to examine the prevalence of lifetime e-cigarette use and current use patterns among 1,150 middle school students (ages 11-14; half Hispanic) across a school year; (2) to assess concurrent and prospective factors related to e-cigarette initiation and use, including perceptions of risk, social images of users, motives for using, intentions and willingness to use, access to products, and exposure to marketing; and (3) to explore associations between e-cigarette initiation and poly-use or willingness and intentions to use other tobacco products, as well as nicotine dependence symptoms resulting from e-cigarette use. Researchers will conduct two school-based surveys across a school year (Fall and Spring) in two middle schools. Based on information obtained in the school surveys, researchers will select 60 e-cigarette users for in-depth interviews in order to gather additional information on the contexts surrounding e-cigarette use, to obtain sequential details of co-use with other tobacco products, and to delve more deeply into the appeal and motivations to use e-cigarettes. Study findings will contribute to the body of research on e-cigarettes and youth.