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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Use of Electronic Cigarettes in Smoke-Free Spaces by Smokers: Results from the 2014-2015 Population

Thursday, February 13, 2020  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov

Dunbar ZR, Giovino G, Wei B, O'Connor RJ, Goniewicz ML, Travers MJ.
Use of Electronic Cigarettes in Smoke-Free Spaces by Smokers: Results from the 2014-2015 Population Assessment on Tobacco and Health Study.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 4;17(3). pii: E978. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17030978.  

Background: Smoke-free air policies exist to protect users and nonusers from exposure to tobacco smoke. Although electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) may expose passerby to nicotine and particulate matter, few US states regulate indoor use of ENDS. The purpose of this study was to investigate reported rationales for ENDS use and reported ENDS use in public smoke-free places by dual cigarette/ENDS users. Methods: A population of ENDS/cigarette co-users (n = 2051) was drawn from Wave 2 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) dataset (2014-2015). Harm reduction beliefs and cessation behavior of co-users were investigated as predictors of ENDS use in public smoke-free places using logistic regression. Results: Fifty-eight percent of dual users reported past 30-day ENDS use in public smoke-free places. Reported use of ENDS to cut down on cigarette smoking (OR: 2.38, 95% CI: 1.86, 3.05), as an alternative to quitting tobacco (OR: 1.71, 95% CI: 1.37, 2.13), or because of belief that ENDS help people to quit cigarettes (OR: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.20, 1.92) were significantly associated with increased odds of ENDS use in smoke-free places. Conclusions: Beliefs that ENDS were useful as cessation tools or posed modified risk to users and nonusers were associated with elevated odds of use ENDS in locations where conventional tobacco is prohibited. Due to limitations in the survey instrument, in-home ENDS use could not be directly assessed in this analysis. However, these self-reported findings suggest that use of ENDS in public places where cigarette use is prohibited is prevalent enough to be of concern for future regulation and enforcement efforts.


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