Electronic cigarettes are battery operated inhalation devices that provide vaporized nicotine to users without the harm of tobacco smoke. They are often marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes and have filled shelves of convenience stores since late 2011.
In a recent survey, a sample of 47 males ages 15-17 years participated in focus groups. They were identified as “e-cigarette users” based upon their responses to a question that asked if they had used an e-cigarette in the previous 30 days. Four open-ended questions were asked to identify participants' subjective norms and beliefs related to e-cigarette use: (a) Why do youth use electronic cigarettes?; (b) Where are places that you use electronic cigarettes?; (c) What do your friends think about electronic cigarettes?; and (d) Why are electronic cigarettes so popular?
“Much of our past research has been conducted on tobacco use among disparate populations, in particular African American males,” said Dr. Ronald Peters and Dr. Angela Meshack in a joint statement. “The present research is an extension of our previous work and began after getting anecdotal evidence from students with whom we work. They shared that they were beginning to use electronic cigarettes because they were novel and had high social approval among their peers.”
The focus groups identified several norms about teenage e-cigarette use among African American males. The primary reasons these teens admitted to using e-cigarettes were expeditious consumption and easy concealment, high social approval among peers, beliefs that e-cigarettes are healthier as well as more aesthetically pleasing compared to tobacco cigarettes, and a safe high. The researchers quote one respondent’s belief in the results section, “It is healthier than smoking a cigarette because cigarettes got all those chemicals in the [expletive].” Another participant mentioned his reason for using, “Because you can hit it and put it in your pocket quick and not be caught. If there are no teachers around, you don't have to take the time to light it up.” Participants admitted using their e-cigarettes everywhere – both at school and at home.
“The data uncovered in this research offer potential directions for larger qualitative and quantitative research studies related to e-cigarette use among youth,” explained the researchers. “We hope with future research to determine if e-cigarette use may serve as a gateway to other drugs just as traditional tobacco cigarettes have been identified and if the user experiences higher euphoric effects.”
Citation: The Social Norms and Beliefs of Teenage Male Electronic Cigarette Use, Ronald J. Peters, Angela Meshack, Mi-Ting Lin, Mandy Hill, Susan Abughosh, Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, Vol. 12, Iss. 4, 2013, DOI: 10.1080/15332640.2013.819310
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- The Plot Of The Week: CMS Search For Majorana Neutrinos
- We're Playing Classical Music All Wrong
- Think Mosquitoes Bite You More Than Other People? Here's Why You May Be Right
- Promonitor Index: 5 Key Ways To Assess Reef Health
- Asian Peat Fire Impact On Climate Change
- Windows 10 Consumer Preview Build. Hits and Misses.
- Football Physics: The Science Of Deflategate
- "So, a scandal from the Catholic version of Football (we in Britain follow the true and original..."
- "Your article makes no sense! What if the pats heat their footballs up to 120 degrees before the..."
- "Thanks as usual for the update. A small typo: annichilate in the third paragraph. And a question..."
- "Error bars are the responsible thing to do. I don't see an aesthetic problem. Nice pix last week..."
- "I think a smaller market means a lot higher quality. We get so many terrible pop songs because..."
- Sociologists discover young women and men prefer egalitarian relationships
- Citizen scientists have positive news for Puget Sound seabirds
- Sleeping on stomach increases risk of sudden death in epilepsy
- BPA exposure during pregnancy correlated to oxidative stress in child, mother
- Ventricular assist devices induce heart muscle regeneration
Books By Writers Here