Awareness and use of e-cigarettes among university students in Shanghai, China
Wenyuanyue Wang* 1,   Maojie Lu* 1,   Yuyang Cai# 1, 2  
,   Nannan Feng# 1  
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School of Public Health, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
China Institute for Urban Governance, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
Yuyang Cai#   

School of Public Health, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 227 South Chongqing Road, Shanghai 200025, China
Nannan Feng#   

School of Public Health, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 227 South Chongqing Road, Shanghai 200025, China
Publication date: 2020-09-08
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2020;18(September):76
*Contributed equally #Co-correspondence authors
The use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in adults is increasing globally, and similar trends may be observed in the young population. Our objective was to estimate the awareness and use of e-cigarettes among the students from two comprehensive universities in Shanghai, China, and to identify the factors that may influence their decision to use e-cigarettes and their possible adverse effects.

An online cross-sectional survey was conducted among the students of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Fudan University. A total of 869 students (412 males and 457 females), mean age 21.09 years (SD=2.44), were recruited in 2018. Multivariate binary logistic regression analyses were performed to explore the associations between ever e-cigarette use and influencing factors.

Of the responding students, 88.4% were aware of e-cigarettes, 4.6% had used e-cigarettes at least once in their lifetime, and 1.7% were current e-cigarettes users. Males and smokers were more likely to use e-cigarettes (ever used e-cigarettes even once) than females (OR=3.51; 95% CI: 1.69–7.27; p=0.001) and non-smokers (OR=28.58; 95% CI: 14.03–58.20; p<0.001). University students were easily motivated to use e-cigarettes when their peers also used them, and the risk ratio was 4.15 (95% CI: 2.11–8.19) compared with if their peers never used e-cigarettes. The major factors found to motivate university students to use e-cigarettes were the belief that e-cigarettes were less harmful or not harmful (55.0%) and the perception that e-cigarettes were helpful to quit smoking (37.5%). The survey also indicated that 72.4% of the respondents heard about e-cigarettes from television advertisements, 42.7% from websites online, and 41.2% from their parents and friends.

University students who were males, cigarette smokers and whose peers used e-cigarettes were more likely to use e-cigarettes. The use of traditional cigarettes should be controlled strictly in order to reduce the likelihood of e-cigarette use among university students.

The authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none was reported.
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81602929).
Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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