VCOM Research Day Program Book 2023

Medical Student Research Publ ic Health

10 Investigating Factors Associated with E-Cigarette Use Among High School Students in The U.S.

Tatiana Elizarova, OMS II; Theresa J. McCann, PhD, MPH Corresponding author:

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Virginia Campus

The use of e-cigarettes among adolescents in the United States has become increasingly popular over the past decade. Although there are numerous harms from e-cigarette use, including addictive properties and psychosocial effects, many adolescents continue to be curious and try e-cigarettes. Meanwhile, health care providers are often unprepared to discuss the use of e-cigarettes with their young patients. The purpose of this project was to investigate the associations between demographic and behavioral factors with the use of e-cigarettes among high school students (grades 9 through 12) in the United States. The National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2021, was used to compare how various factors were associated with high school students’ e-cigarette use. The NYTS was an online survey with a stratified, three-stage cluster sample, representative of middle school and high school students in the United States. Of the total 10,515-sample size,

27.5% high school students reported ever using an e-cigarette. The most common reasons for first first time and continuous e-cigarette use differed: friends and curiosity were more common for first time use, while feeling anxious or depressed and wanting a high from nicotine were more common reasons for continued use. Demographic statistics by number and percent were noted separately for each variable in Excel. Then, crosstabs were performed in SPSS version 28 for dichotomous comparisons between variables. Chi square tests of each comparison were done and showed statistically significant associations between the use of e-cigarettes and sex (p<0.0001), and the use of e-cigarettes and discussion of use with a health care provider (p<0.0001). In addition, academic grades (A through F) differed by use, wherein 70.6% students who have ever used an e-cigarette were achieving A’s and B’s, and 78.9% students who had never used an

e-cigarette were achieving A’s and B’s (p<0.001). Strengths of this analysis included a large sample size, which is representative of American youth, but a weakness may be that it is a cross-sectional analysis that cannot explain “why”. This data suggests that first use of e-cigarettes is not infrequent in youth, that pediatric health care providers should familiarize themselves with the frequency and issues involved in youth e-cigarette use, and that using e-cigarettes could have a negative effect on not only physical and mental wellbeing but also academic performance.

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