Assessing the Testability of the Multi-Theory Model (MTM) in Predicting Vaping Quitting Behavior among Young Adults in the United States: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Manoj Sharma, Kavita Batra, Ravi Batra, Chia Liang Dai, Traci Hayes, Melinda J. Ickes, Tejinder Pal Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Given the increased exposure to e-cigarettes and nicotine among young adults, difficulty in quitting vaping is likely, which supports the need for effective behavioral interventions. Therefore, this cross-sectional study aims to assess the testability of the contemporary multi-theory model of health behavior change in predicting the vaping quitting behavior among young adults in the United States. Methods: A nationally representative sample of 619 young adults engaged in vaping behavior and aged 18–24 years was recruited to complete a 49-item web-based survey. A structural equation model was used to test relationships between MTM constructs. Hierarchical multiple regression was utilized to predict the variance in the initiation and sustenance of vaping quitting behavior by predictor variables, such as demographic characteristics, history of behaviors, and MTM constructs. Results: Of 619 respondents, over 75% were White and nearly 70% had educational attainment equal to high school or some college. In total, 62% of respondents were using nicotine, followed by 33.3% were using cannabis. About 80% of the respondents reported being engaged in drinking alcohol, and nearly 45% were engaged in cigarette smoking. The predictive effect of all MTM constructs on vaping quitting initiation (adjusted R2 = 0.417, F (23, 595) = 20.215, p < 0.001) and sustenance (adjusted R2 = 0.366, F (23, 595) = 16.533, p < 0.001) was statistically significant. Conclusions: The findings of this study point to the usability and applicability of MTM in operationalizing and developing vaping quitting behavior interventions targeting young adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12139
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research study was funded by the School of Public Health, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, internal grant number PG03008.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • cannabis
  • college students
  • e-cigarettes
  • nicotine
  • smoking cessation
  • tobacco use
  • vaping
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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