A new study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research (2023) assessed changes in e-cigarette use since the COVID-19 pandemic began and reasons for these changes among US youth and young adults.
Data from two cross-sectional samples of youth and young adult (15–24 years) participants of a monthly surveillance study (data collected in April and June 2021) were analyzed (n = 1762).
The most common reason for increasing e-cigarette use was managing stress (36%); the most common reasons for decreasing use included fewer social interactions (22%) and concerns over general health (18%).
Study Implications for E-Cigarette Use Prevention
Implications of this study’s findings are that e-cigarette prevention programs should address managing stress and highlight health risks associated with vaping.
E-cigarette prevention programs, such as the evidence-informed Vaping Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) intervention, promotes healthy habits including getting regular physical activity, eating healthy and getting adequate sleep, as well as practicing regular relaxation strategies, which can help youth control daily stress in their lives and thereby prevent vaping.
In addition, prevention programs that describe how e-cigarette use can harm general health as well as participating in specific healthy habits and experiencing their benefits could be a useful strategy, according to this study’s findings.
For example, the Vaping PPW program highlights how e-cigarette use interferes with living an active lifestyle and makes participating in sports and other physical activities more difficult, which in turn increases youth awareness of the health risks of vaping.
This study’s findings support the use of e-cigarette prevention programs, such as the Vaping Prevention Plus Wellness intervention, that address both stress control and health risks as potentially effective prevention strategies.
Read the entire research article: https://academic.oup.com/ntr/article/25/2/350/6593856
Learn more about the Vaping Prevention Plus Wellness program: https://preventionpluswellness.com/products/evidence-based-e-cigarette-prevention-plus-wellness-program