Tobacco & Nicotine Products
E-Cigarette Use Patterns among Asian Americans: Findings from the National Adult Tobacco Survey (NATS) 2013-2014
(School of Public Health (UMD) BCH Doctoral Student)
Background: Recently, a new surgeon general’s report calls on public health advocators to include more detailed measures of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) use as an effort to expand the surveillance, research and evaluation. However, a lack of substantive data has been a major barrier in documenting and addressing tobacco, including ENDS use, among Asian Americans (AAs) because national health surveys have traditionally excluded limited English speaking populations. Consequently, critical gaps need to be addressed in understanding patterns and associations of ENDS use among AAs. Methods: This study examined the ENDS awareness, use patterns, quit attempt and addiction among AAs using the National Adult Tobacco Survey (NATS) 2013-2014 (n=1,956). Chi-square tests were analyzed to explore the differences in ENDS use, sociodemographic factors, quit attempts, and addiction among AAs. Results: Findings indicated that about 84% (n=1,634) of the AA sample reported hearing about ENDS and 13% (n=212) of them reported trying ENDS. Among those who ever tried ENDS, 37% (n=79) were current ENDS users. Further, 74% (n=58) of current ENDS users used flavored ENDS (n=58). Among AA ENDS users, about 58% were dual users of ENDS and cigarettes (P<0.05). More AA young people (age 18-35) and AA men ever tried or currently used ENDS, compared to their counterparts (p<0.05). Among those who ever tried ENDS, more than 50% felt restless and irritable after not using tobacco for a while (p<0.05). Conclusions: While the NATS included a small, select, proportion of the U.S. AA population, study findings indicate that ENDS use is a prevalent behavior for this population. Future surveillance and research efforts need to continue collecting more diverse AA ethnic subgroup samples to fill the current gaps in ENDS research, to better understand ENDS use patterns, and associated outcomes.