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Who and Why Cigarette Smokers Use E-Cigarettes after Hospitalization

Principal Investigator: Kathy Harrington (formerly William C. Bailey)

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health- Grant

ID number: 3 U01 DA031515-03S1

Award Date: 9/15/2012

Institution: University of Alabama at Birmingham

Use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is increasing, particularly among smokers trying to quit; however, their potential for benefit and harm remains uncertain. The goal of this study is to collect epidemiologic and explanatory data on e-cigarette use among hospitalized smokers. Specific aims are: (1) to test a longitudinal mediation model elucidating mechanisms involved in e-cigarette use, including an identification of who uses e-cigarettes and the predictors of susceptibility to product marketing messages; and (2) to collect data regarding the prevalence of e-cigarette use among smokers before and after hospitalization, thus contributing to the epidemiologic knowledge base characterizing the scope of e-cigarette use. This observational study will involve 980 cigarette smokers aged 19-80 recruited during hospitalization. Participants will be interviewed at hospital bedside and via telephone at 6 and 12 months post-discharge regarding factors hypothesized to predict e-cigarette use (e.g., intention to use, e-cigarette-related expectancies, e-cigarette exposure, tobacco dependence, abstinence-related expectancies, health literacy, demographics, abstinence self-efficacy, motivation to quit smoking, need for cognition, and personal involvement). This research will reveal the mechanisms driving e-cigarette use among hospitalized cigarette smokers, evaluate the contribution of e-cigarette marketing activities, and clarify perceptions of e-cigarettes and their perceived role in the health of current smokers.

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