A comparison of students and non-students with respect to orientation toward e-cigarettes

Craig W. Trumbo
Department of Journalism and Media Communication, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, United States.

Raquel Harper
Center for STEM Learning, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, United States.


We examine differences between college students and non-students with respect to orientation toward e-cigarettes. Participants were U.S. adults 18-24 (465 students, 409 non-students). Data collection employed an online survey by GfK Custom Research. Smoking, vaping, and use of alternate tobacco were assessed, as were variables from the Theory of Reasoned Action and Diffusion of Innovations.

This study showed that smoking status largely explains use and orientation toward electronic cigarettes among both students and non-students, with differences attributable to higher smoking rates among non-students. Results also showed that among student smokers there was a greater level of information exposure concerning electronic cigarettes, and more prevalence in the use of alternate tobacco.
Hookah use in that group was significantly greater than for non-student smokers. Together these findings suggest that students may be more vulnerable to electronic cigarette use due to higher related information exposure and the integration of vaping into hookah culture.