E-cigarette use among adolescents is on the rise in the U.S. However, limited attention has been given to examining the role of race, citizenship status and language spoken at home in shaping e-cigarette use behavior.
Data are from the 2014 Adolescent California Health Interview Survey, which interviewed 1052 adolescents ages 12–17. Lifetime e-cigarette use was examined by sociodemographic characteristics. Separate logistic regression models predicted odds of ever-smoking e-cigarettes from race, citizenship status and language spoken at home. Sociodemographic characteristics were then added to these models as control variables and a model with all three predictors and controls was run. Similar models were run with conventional smoking as an outcome.
10.3% of adolescents ever used e-cigarettes. E-cigarette use was higher among ever-smokers of conventional cigarettes, individuals above 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, US citizens and those who spoke English-only at home. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that citizenship status and language spoken at home were associated with lifetime e-cigarette use, after accounting for control variables. Only citizenship status was associated with e-cigarette use, when controls variables race and language spoken at home were all in the same model.
Ever use of e-cigarettes in this study was higher than previously reported national estimates. Action is needed to curb the use of e-cigarettes among adolescents. Differences in lifetime e-cigarette use by citizenship status and language spoken at home suggest that less acculturated individuals use e-cigarettes at lower rates.