Associations between reasons for vaping and current vaping and smoking status: Evidence from a UK based cohort

Jasmine N. Khouja*, Amy E. Taylor, Marcus R. Munafò

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
155 Downloads (Pure)


This study aimed to discover which young adults vape, the reasons given for vaping, and which reasons for vaping are associated with continued vaping/smoking.
In a UK cohort of 3,994 young adults, we explored the association of retrospectively-recalled reasons for vaping by 23 years (collected between 2015 and 2016) with vaping/smoking status at 24 years (collected between 2016 and 2017). Using logistic regression, we assessed the association with vaping behaviour among ever vapers who had ever smoked (n=668), and with smoking behaviour among individuals who regularly smoked prior to vaping (n=412).
Vaping to quit smoking was associated with higher likelihood of vaping (odds ratio [OR] = 3.51, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] = 2.29 to 5.38), but lower likelihood of smoking at 24 years (OR = 0.50, 95%CI = 0.32 to 0.78). Vaping to cut down smoking was associated with higher likelihood of vaping (OR = 2.90, 95%CI = 1.87 to 4.50) and smoking at 24 years (OR = 1.62, 95%CI = 1.02 to 2.58). Vaping out of curiosity was associated with lower likelihood of vaping at 24 years (OR = 0.41, 95%CI = 0.26 to 0.63) but higher likelihood of smoking at 24 years (OR = 1.66, 95%CI = 1.04 to 2.65).
Intention to quit appears important for young adults to stop smoking using e-cigarettes. Public health strategies that encourage vaping specifically for smoking cessation may encourage quitting among young adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108362
Number of pages4
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Early online date19 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol [grant number MC_UU_00011/7 ]. The UK Medical Research Council and Welcome (grant number 102215/2/13/2 ) and the University of Bristol provide core support for ALSPAC. A comprehensive list of grants funding is available on the ALSPAC website ( ). This work was also supported by CRUK (grant numbers C18281/A19169 , C57854/A22171 ), Welcome Trust and the UK Medical Research Council (grant number 092731 ). This publication is the work of the authors and JK, AT and MM will serve as guarantors for the contents of this paper. The funders had no involvement in the study design, data collection, data analysis, the interpretation of data, in the writing of the report or in the decision to submit the article for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s)

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Structured keywords

  • Physical and Mental Health
  • Tobacco and Alcohol


  • e-cigarettes
  • smoking


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