The rationale of non-smoking adolescents’ use of electronic cigarettes (vaping)
A scoping review
Keywords:Adolescents, youth, electronic cigarettes, vaping, influencing factors, social work
INTRODUCTION: Although electronic cigarettes are primarily advertised as smoking cessation tools, recent studies found a significant increase of adolescents who are non-smokers initiating the use of electronic cigarettes, and the understanding of the rationale behind those non- smoking adolescents’ use of electronic cigarettes is not yet well-established. Guided by the question “What factors increase the likelihood of non-smoking adolescents’ use of electronic cigarettes?”, this scoping review identifies the current landscape of scholarly explorations on this topic. It aims to provide heuristic implications on shaping the future research agenda that could enlighten social work interventions towards adolescents’ use of electronic cigarettes.
METHODS: Nine electronic databases were searched and primary research articles exploring the reasons why adolescents (13–18 years of age) initiated their use of electronic cigarettes were screened. A PRISMA-ScR was used to record the results from the search strategy.
FINDINGS: Of the five studies retrieved from the database search, three were qualitative studies, and two were quantitative, with all five articles being from the United States. Thematic analysis was used and identified four key themes for the factors influencing the use of electronic cigarettes in this population of interest: personal relationships, social context, ease of access, and production features.
CONCLUSION: There is a significant gap in the literature around the reasons why adolescent non-smokers use electronic cigarettes. Conducting further research into this will expand the knowledge of social work practitioners and inform future, evidence-informed interventions and electronic cigarette cessation programmes to reduce the harm electronic cigarettes may have.
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