A qualitative exploration of Western Australian vapers process of e-cigarette initiation, continuance and cessation
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Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health, School of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
School of Marketing, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Kahlia McCausland   

Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health, School of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A149
E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular over the last 10 years. These devices represent a new paradigm for tobacco control offering smokers an opportunity to inhale nicotine without inhaling tobacco smoke. To date there are no definitive conclusions regarding the safety and long-term health effects of these devices however the increased uptake and popularity of them suggests that they may be perceived as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes.

To describe the factors influencing e-cigarette initiation, maintenance and cessation, and determine opportunities for health promotion intervention.

Participants were recruited through online e-cigarette forums, closed social media groups, and snowball sampling to participate in face-to-face and telephone (only when required) interviews. To be eligible to participate interviewees were required to be current or past (within the last 12 months) e-cigarette users, aged 18 years or older, and reside within the Perth Metropolitan or Peel Region of Western Australia. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim before being imported into NVivo software for analysis.

Thirty-seven interviews were conducted (11 female, 26 male), with data analysis continuing. Preliminary results suggest: Factors influencing initiation: poor health, desire to quit smoking, family, cost of tobacco, influence of other vapers, and the internet/social media. Factors supporting maintenance: improved health, quit smoking, decreased cost, vaping community (online, other vapers and vape stores), enjoyment, hobby, and starting a vaping related business. Factors influencing cessation: relapse to cigarettes, and if new research determined vaping was bad for health and/or worse than tobacco.

The only reason participants said they would cease using e-cigarettes is if research determined vaping was detrimental to their health and/or worse than tobacco. As data analysis continues this study aims to determine where then are our opportunities for health promotion intervention?

This work was supported by a Healthway Exploratory Research Grant (grant number 32803) and an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship. The Scholarship is provided by the Commonwealth of Australia to support general living costs for students (KM) undertaking Research Doctorate studies. All funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; and in the decision to present the results.
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