Adolescents’ Perceptions of E-Cigarette Use and its Impact on Health
thesisposted on 01.08.2021, 00:00 authored by Eun Jung Cho
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify whether adolescents who were aware of e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) were more likely to view e-cigarette use as harmful to their health and to describe the misconceptions adolescents may have regarding e-cigarette use. Methods: Adolescents aged 13-19 were recruited in pediatric dental clinics and completed a survey questionnaire regarding their knowledge of e-cigarettes. Results: A total of 66 adolescents participated. Forty-seven adolescents indicated knowledge of e-cigarettes. Forty adolescents recognized that most e-cigarettes contain nicotine and 49 adolescents reported knowledge of EVALI cases. Adolescents with knowledge of EVALI have increased awareness of possible lung damage from e-cigarette use (p=.001). Furthermore, adolescents with knowledge of EVALI cases are more aware that e-cigarettes contain nicotine (p=.049). Conclusions: Adolescents with knowledge of EVALI cases have increased awareness of lung damage resulting from e-cigarette use and are more likely to view e-cigarette use as harmful to their health. Furthermore, those who are aware of EVALI cases are more likely to recognize that e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is known to be addictive and can cause long-term neurochemical changes in the brain. Targeted interventions to increase awareness regarding the harmful effects of e-cigarettes on health is needed to better address e-cigarette use in adolescents.