Objective This study assessed changes in levels of ever use, perceptions of harm from e-cigarettes and sociodemographic correlates of use among European Union (EU) adults during 2012–2014, as well as determinants of current use in 2014.
Methods We analysed data from the 2012 (n=26 751) and 2014 (n=26 792) waves of the adult Special Eurobarometer for Tobacco survey. Point prevalence of current and ever use was calculated and logistic regression assessed correlates of current use and changes in ever use, and perception of harm. Correlates examined included age, gender, tobacco smoking, education, area of residence, difficulties in paying bills and reasons for trying an e-cigarette.
Results The prevalence of ever use of e-cigarettes increased from 7.2% in 2012 to 11.6% in 2014 (adjusted OR (aOR)=1.91). EU-wide coefficient of variation in ever e-cigarette use was 42.1% in 2012 and 33.4% in 2014. The perception that e-cigarettes are harmful increased from 27.1% in 2012 to 51.6% in 2014 (aOR=2.99), but there were major differences in prevalence and trends between member states. Among those who reported that they had ever tried an e-cigarette in the 2014 survey, 15.3% defined themselves as current users. Those who tried an e-cigarette to quit smoking were more likely to be current users (aOR=2.82).
Conclusions Ever use of e-cigarettes increased during 2012–2014. People who started using e-cigarettes to quit smoking tobacco were more likely to be current users, but the trends vary by country. These findings underscore the need for more research into factors influencing e-cigarette use and its potential benefits and harms.
- Electronic nicotine delivery devices
- Public opinion
- Non-cigarette tobacco products
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Contributors FTF had the main role in data analysis. FTF, AAL and VG had the main role in manuscript preparation. All the authors contributed to data interpretation and manuscript preparation. FTF is responsible for the overall content.
Funding This work was supported by a grant from the European Commission (Horizon2020 HCO-6-2015; EUREST-PLUS: 681109; Vardavas).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement Eurobarometer datasets are publicly available online at http://zacat.gesis.org.
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