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Prevalence and predictors of heated tobacco product use and its relationship with attempts to quit cigarette smoking among Korean adolescents


Introduction Heated tobacco products (HTPs) have been available in the Korean market since June 2017. In this study, we examined the prevalence and predictors of HTP use among Korean adolescents and the association between HTP and electronic cigarette (EC) use and attempts to quit conventional cigarette (CC) smoking.

Methods We analysed the data of a representative sample (n=60 040) of 13–18-year-old middle-school and high-school students in Korea who had participated in the 14th Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey in 2018.

Results The prevalence of ever HTP use among Korean adolescents was 2.9% (men: 4.4%, women: 1.2%), a year after the introduction of HTPs in the Korean market. Furthermore, 81.3% of the 1568 ever HTP users were triple users of HTPs, ECs and CCs. Multivariate analysis revealed that ever HTP use was greater among men, higher-grade students, current CC and/or EC users and risky alcohol drinkers. Among current CC smokers, ever users of ECs (28%–30%) and ever HTP users and current EC users (48%) were more likely to have attempted to quit CC smoking than those who had never used HTPs and ECs. However, there were fewer HTP and/or EC ever users among ever CC smokers who successfully quit smoking.

Conclusions Many adolescents, especially CC and EC users, had already used HTPs shortly after the introduction of HTPs in Korea. The use of newer types of tobacco products is associated with lower odds of abstinence from CCs; therefore, it is important to protect adolescents from them.

  • cessation
  • non-cigarette tobacco products
  • prevention

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