E-Cigarette Use among Adolescents: An Overview of the Literature and Future Perspectives

Background: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are rapidly emerging into a new trend among adolescents, signaling a new époque, that of vapers. E-cigarettes are battery-powered nicotine delivery devices that heat a typically flavoring liquid solution into an aerosol mist that users inhale, allowing them to imitate the act of conventional smoking. There are concerns about the impact of e-cigarettes at both individual and public health level.

Aim: To discuss the characteristics of the most vulnerable, to become e-cigarette users, group of adolescents and to further highlight their behaviors and characteristics.

Methods: An electronic search in PubMed, EMBASE, and Google Scholar databases was conducted, using combinations of the following keywords: adolescents, teenagers, e-cigarettes, vaping. The search included all types of articles written in English until August 2017. A total of 100 articles were found, and 25 were finally included in the present review.

Results: Older age, male gender, conventional smokers, peer influence, daily smoking, and heavier smoking are the most common characteristics of adolescent e-cigarette users.

Conclusion: E-cigarette use is common, especially between certain subgroups in the adolescent population. Since e-cigarette use is increasing and considering that the long term health effects are still under investigation, targeted interventions towards more susceptible individuals may be an effective prevention strategy.

Perikleous EP, Steiropoulos P, Paraskakis E, Constantinidis TC and Nena E (2018) E-Cigarette Use Among Adolescents: An Overview of the Literature and Future Perspectives. Front. Public Health 6:86. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2018.00086
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