E-cigarette use and beliefs among urban public high school students in North Carolina

Vivek Anand, Kaye L. McGinty, Kevin O'Brien, Gregory Guenthner, Ellen Hahn, Catherine A. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Purpose The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence, attitudes, and risk factors associated with electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use among high school students in tobacco growing state. Methods A 47-item e-cigarette questionnaire modeled after Monitoring the Future with additional information about demographics, adolescent and family nicotine use, and school and health care interventions was designed, piloted, and administered to public high school students (N = 3,298) in May 2013, in an urban county in North Carolina. Results Completers (2,769/3,298) were aged 16.4 years (standard deviation ± 1.4) with 48.9% males and 43.9% African-American, 38% white, and 4.6% Hispanics. The majority (77.3%) knew about e-cigarettes; 15.2% reported that they had tried an e-cigarette, and 60% reported that e-cigarettes were safe or had minimal health hazards. Only 5.4% reported that schools had offered information about e-cigarette use. One quarter (24.9%) reported ever cigarette smoking, and 13.3% reported ever using smokeless tobacco. E-cigarette use was positively associated with older age, tobacco use, male gender, Caucasian race, mother's e-cigarette use, biological parents' tobacco use, and lower academic performance, whereas negatively associated with having a mother who never used e-cigarettes, not knowing any e-cigarette users, and living with mother (p <.05). Conclusions E-cigarette use and awareness is evident among high school students in North Carolina. A high number of smokers and smokeless tobacco users are using e-cigarettes simultaneously, and many perceive e-cigarettes as healthy and with minimal health hazards. Also, there is limited school-based education about e-cigarettes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-51
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was made possible by funding through the National Institute on Drug Abuse—American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Resident Research Award in Substance Abuse and Addiction, supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse (grant number 212710-664430).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. All rights reserved.


  • Adolescents
  • E-cigarettes
  • Nicotine
  • Smoking
  • Students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'E-cigarette use and beliefs among urban public high school students in North Carolina'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this