Adolescent awareness and use of electronic cigarettes: A review of emerging trends and findings

Richard Greenhill (Lead Author), Lynne Dawkins, Caitlin Notley, Mark D. Finn, John J.D. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)
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Adult electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use is increasing globally, and early studies have suggested that similar trends may be observed among the adolescent population, albeit at lower levels. The current literature review presents data collected since 2014 from 21 cross-sectional studies and one cohort study that were all published in English. In particular, it focuses on awareness, ever use, past 30-day use, and regular use of e-cigarettes. The article suggests that adolescents are nearing complete awareness of e-cigarettes. Furthermore, in relation to ever use and past 30-day use, higher prevalence rates continue to be reported across time, especially in the United States. Nonetheless, reported regular use of e-cigarettes remains much lower than past 30-day use, although conclusions are limited due to inconsistencies with measurement and consequent lack of cross-cultural applicability. The majority of studies do not report whether adolescents use non-nicotine e-cigarettes. There is a current absence of longitudinal studies that explore any association between e-cigarettes and tobacco use and little qualitative data that may illuminate how and why adolescents use e-cigarettes. Through addressing these methodological limitations, future research will be able to inform health care and policy more effectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)612–619
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number6
Early online date29 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • electronic cigarettes
  • e-cigarettes
  • vaping
  • nicotine
  • adolescents

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