Do Adolescent Smokers Use E-Cigarettes to Help Them Quit?

E-cigarette use is more common among certain adolescent subgroups, however it does not appear to be a common cessation tool among conventional cigarette smokers who wish to quit.

The Issue:

There is limited knowledge of adolescent e-cigarette use, especially among adolescents. As e-cigarette use grows in popularity, however, understanding the sociodemographic characterisics of adolescent users and how e-cigarettes are being used becomes important.

Key Findings

  • Descriptive analyses show 3.2 percent of respondents had used e-cigarettes.

  • E-cigarette users were more likely to be male, non-Hispanic White, have more than $50 a month in discretionary personal income, live with a smoker, have a friend who is a smoker, and have either tried conventional cigarettes or are active smokers.

  • Neither desire to quit nor recent quit attempts is significantly associated with e-cigarette use among conventional cigarette smokers.


This current study serves as an important starting point in understanding e-cigarette use among adolescents. Future surveys could include items on e-cigarette use and sociodemographic measures to improve data collection and assist efforts in tobacco-use prevention and cessation.

About the Study:

Using data from the nationally representative 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), this study examined 15,264 students in the 6th through 12th grades at both public and private schools. The survey included questions on lifetime e-cigarette use, cigarette use, desire to quit smoking, and sociodemographic measures, including disposable income.