Introduction: Over the last few years, the increasing use of electronic cigarettes has become a new public health problem. Since 2011, Argentina has had a complete ban on marketing and sale of e-cigarettes. However, e-cigarettes are marketed online and can be easily bought in stores. We conducted a longitudinal study to evaluate the determinants of e-cigarette trial among Argentinean early adolescents.
Methods: A school-based longitudinal study was conducted in 2014-15, in 3 large cities in Argentina. Among students who reported never smoking an e-cigarette at baseline, we assessed demographics, media use, sensation seeking, smoking behavior, network member smoking, use of other substances, and perception of e-cigarette risk as potential risk factors for e-cigarette trial at follow up (mean between-wave interval 17.1 months) using multilevel logistic regression models with random intercepts for schools.
Results: E-cigarette trial prevalence increased from baseline (1.8%; n=57) to follow up (7.1%; n=139). Independent predictors of e-cigarette use at follow up included: higher sensation seeking (OR: 1.49 95% CI 1.21-1.84); being a current smoker (OR: 2.58 95% CI 1.38-4.83); having close friends that smoke cigarettes (OR: 1.93 95% CI 1.25-2.99) and being highly exposed to tobacco product ads online (OR: 1.87 95% CI 1.04-3.36). Attending a public school was the only protective factor (OR: 0.40 95% CI 0.22-0.73).
Conclusions: In Argentina, illicit trial of e-cigarettes among early adolescents is low but appears to be rapidly increasing. Identifying students at risk could help identify policies and programs to prevent increasing use in this population.
Published in Tobacco Prevention Cessation, Volume December, Issue 2, 2016, pages 1-8.
Morello, P., Perez, A., Peña, L., Lozano, P., Trasher, J., Sargent, J., & Mejia, R. (2016). Prevalence and predictors of e-cigarette trial among adolescents in Argentina. Tobacco Prevention & Cessation, 2(December). doi: 10.18332/tpc/66950