Electronic cigarettes (ECIGs) continue to grow in popularity, however, limited research has examined reasons for ECIG use.
This study used an integrated, mixed-method participatory research approach called concept mapping (CM) to characterize and describe adults' reasons for using ECIGs. A total of 108 adults completed a multi-module online CM study that consisted of brainstorming statements about their reasons for ECIG use, sorting each statement into conceptually similar categories, and then rating each statement based on whether it represented a reason why they have used an ECIG in the past month.
Participants brainstormed a total of 125 unique statements related to their reasons for ECIG use. Multivariate analyses generated a map revealing 11, interrelated components or domains that characterized their reasons for use. Importantly, reasons related to Cessation Methods, Perceived Health Benefits, Private Regard, Convenience and Conscientiousness were rated significantly higher than other categories/types of reasons related to ECIG use (p < .05). There also were significant model differences in participants' endorsement of reasons based on their demography and ECIG behaviors.
This study shows that ECIG users are motivated to use ECIGs for many reasons. ECIG regulations should address these reasons for ECIG use in addition to smoking cessation.