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Prevalence and correlates of JUUL use among a national sample of youth and young adults

Abstract

Objective To estimate the prevalence of JUUL use and identify demographic and psychosocial correlates of use among youth and young adults in the USA.

Methods A national, probability-based sample was recruited via address-based sampling, with subsamples recruited from an existing probability-based online panel. Participants (N=14 379) ages 15–34 were surveyed about JUUL use, tobacco use, electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) harm perceptions, sensation seeking and demographic characteristics. Data were collected February–May 2018. Χ2 analyses assessed differences in JUUL use by demographic and psychosocial characteristics. Logistic regressions identified significant correlates of ever and current JUUL use.

Results Overall, 6.0% reported ever JUUL use, and 3.3% reported past 30-day (ie, current) use. Rates were higher among participants aged 15–17 and 18–21 years, with 9.5% and 11.2% reporting ever use, and 6.1% and 7.7% reporting current use, respectively. Among current users aged 15–17 years, 55.8% reported use on 3 or more days in the past month, and over a quarter reported use on 10–30 days. Significant correlates of use included younger age, white race, greater financial comfort, perceptions of ENDS as less harmful than cigarettes, household ENDS use, high sensation seeking and current combustible tobacco use.

Conclusion JUUL use was significantly higher among young people, with those under 21 having significantly higher odds of ever and current use. Frequency of use patterns suggest youth may not be experimenting with the device but using it regularly. Given the high nicotine content of JUUL, there is concern over the potential for addiction and other serious health consequences among young people. Findings suggest strong regulatory actions are needed to prevent youth and young adult uptake.

  • surveillance and monitoring
  • prevention
  • electronic nicotine delivery devices
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