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Journal Articles PLoS ONE Year : 2024

Prevalence, lived experiences and user profiles in e-cigarette use: A mixed methods study among French college students

Héléna da Cruz
Emmanuel Langlois
Christophe Tzourio

Abstract

Background Little is known about e-cigarette use in French students. Our aims were to estimate the prevalence of e-cigarette experimentation and current e-cigarette use; describe the reasons for using e-cigarettes; explore the vaping experience and identify the profiles of e-cigarette users. Methods We used a sequential, explanatory mixed methods design in a sample of French college students. Quantitative data was collected online for a cross-sectional analysis among 1698 students. Two separate analysis based on the thematic analysis and the Grounded Theory were also performed in 20 semi-structured interviews, focusing former and current smokers also current vapers. Results The prevalence of e-cigarette experimentation was 39.3% (95% CI: 35.2–44.0) and 5.1% (95% CI: 3.2–8.0) of students were current e-cigarette users. Experimentation was opportunistic while current usage was rational, requiring to acquire a personal electronic device, getting used to its technicality, appreciating its availability, discretion, and learning the practice. In this context, three distinct groups of e-cigarette users were identified, based on assumed identity, tobacco and e-cigarette use, the functions assigned to e-cigarettes, and intentions with regards to vaping in the future. Conclusion Despite some limitations mainly related to the participants self-selection, this research showed that while many smokers and former smokers have tried e-cigarettes in this student population, few have continued to use them continuously. Moreover, these current e-cigarette users were a heterogeneous group. Longitudinal studies are needed in young adult smokers for a better understanding of how their tobacco and e-cigarette use affect each other and change over time.
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hal-04462959 , version 1 (16-02-2024)

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Shérazade Kinouani, Héléna da Cruz, Emmanuel Langlois, Christophe Tzourio. Prevalence, lived experiences and user profiles in e-cigarette use: A mixed methods study among French college students. PLoS ONE, 2024, 19 (2), pp.e0297156. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0297156⟩. ⟨hal-04462959⟩
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