Users of both electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and cigarettes may be more intent on quitting tobacco, but that intention seems to drop off among less educated smokers, according to a recent study by the School of Public Health at Georgia State University.
Through a survey of more than 1,200 current smokers, researchers found that those who did not have college degrees were less likely to use ENDS in addition to smoking regular cigarettes. But smokers who did use ENDS, such as e-cigarettes, were more likely to have attempted to quit in the past year, according to the survey data.
“Among dual users, having a college degree was associated with high intention to quit smoking and attempting to quit in the past year,” the researchers noted. “This study highlights patterns in ENDS use that may increase the socioeconomic gap in smoking prevalence as marked by educational differences in the intention to quit and making attempts to quit.”
The study used data from the 2014 Tobacco Products and Risk Perceptions Survey, which was conducted by the school’s Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS). The results are published in Addictive Behaviors in an article titled, “Electronic nicotine delivery system dual use and intention to quit smoking: Will the socioeconomic gap in smoking get greater?”
The data also showed lower dual END and cigarette use among racial minorities.
“We found that current smokers used ENDS with an intention to quit smoking cigarettes or reduce the use of combustible cigarettes,” the study’s authors stated. “If ENDS use proves to be helpful for smoking cessation among long-term smokers, then interventions to improve access to ENDS among minority smokers and those with low levels of education may be needed to reduce smoking-related disparities.”
The study’s authors are TCORS postdoctoral research associate Dr. Pratibha Nayak; Dr. Terry Pechacek, professor of health management and policy; Dr. Scott Weaver, assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics; and Dr. Michael Eriksen, dean of the School of Public Health and professor of health management and policy.
TCORS, established at Georgia State in 2013, takes a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding human and economic factors that contribute to tobacco use. The Center, housed within the School of Public Health, conducts research designed to inform the regulation of tobacco products to protect public health.