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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UAB Assesses Expectancies for Electronic Cigarettes versus Tobacco Cigarettes

Dr. Peter S. Hendricks, assistant professor in the department of health behavior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, recently compared hospitalized smokers’ expectancies for electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) against their expectancies for tobacco cigarettes and evaluated relationships between e-cigarette expectancies and intention to use e-cigarettes. Co-investigators include department colleagues graduate assistant Ms. Mallory G. Cases; assistant professor Dr. JeeWon Cheong; assistant professor Dr. Kathleen F. Harrington; and professor emerita Dr. Connie L. Kohler; along with Dr. William C. Bailey, in UAB’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine.

HendricksP_UAB ASPPH
[Photo: Dr. Peter S. Hendricks]

In this analysis of baseline data from a one-year longitudinal observational study, the setting was a tertiary care academic center hospital in the Southeastern United States and the participants were comprised of 958 hospitalized tobacco cigarette smokers. A questionnaire of e-cigarette expectancies based on the Brief Smoking Consequences Questionnaire-Adult (BSCQ-A) was developed and administered along with the original, tobacco-specific BSCQ-A. Intention to use e-cigarettes was assessed with a single 10-point Likert scale item.

Participants reported significantly weaker expectancies for e-cigarettes relative to tobacco cigarettes on all 10 BSCQ-A scales. Participants held sizably weaker expectancies for the health risks of e-cigarettes, as well as the ability of e-cigarettes to relieve negative affect, satisfy the desire for nicotine, and taste pleasant. Among the strongest predictors of intention to use e-cigarettes were greater expectancies that e-cigarettes taste pleasant, relieve negative affect, and satisfy the desire for nicotine.

The researchers concluded that hospitalized tobacco smokers expect fewer negative and positive outcomes from e-cigarettes versus tobacco cigarettes, which suggests that e-cigarettes might be viable though imperfect substitutes for tobacco cigarettes.

“Hospitalized Smokers’ Expectancies for Electronic Cigarettes versus Tobacco Cigarettes” was published online in September 2014 in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

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