E-Cigarettes Contribute to Failed Nicotine Quit Attempts Among Teens

April 04, 2022

2 minute read


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A new study published in JAMA highlights the prevalence of unsuccessful quit attempts among adolescents who have used e-cigarettes or cigarettes in the past 13 years.

The reported prevalence of an unsuccessful quit attempt among adolescents decreased from 1997 to 2020. However, in 2020, the reported prevalence of unsuccessful quit attempts among adolescents who used cigarettes or e-cigarettes was higher. higher than the prevalence of unsuccessful quit attempts from 1997 to 2020, researchers have reported.


The data comes from Miech R, et al. JAMA. 2022;doi:10.1001/jama.2022.1692.

“The contribution of e-cigarettes to unsuccessful attempts to quit nicotine among adolescents is substantial and deserves consideration as the United States formulates policies to regulate e-cigarettes,” Richard Allen MiechPhD, co-investigator of the Monitoring the Future study at the Survey Research Center of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues wrote.

Researchers surveyed 815,690 respondents to the Monitoring the Future 1997-2020 study, which included nationally representative samples of eighth, 10th and 12th graders surveyed each year. Respondents answered “yes” or “no” to questions about unsuccessful attempts to quit smoking in the past and, for e-cigarette users in 2020, unsuccessful attempts to quit vaping nicotine . Based on the responses, the researchers designed a variable identifying unsuccessful quit attempts for combustible cigarettes or e-cigarettes.

“An unsuccessful attempt to quit nicotine is a central measure of nicotine addiction because it indicates loss of autonomy, a defining characteristic of addiction to any substance, and is also a risk factor for long-term chronic trajectories of substance use, distress, and impairment,” Miech and colleagues wrote. “Users of e-cigarettes and fuel cigarettes may be equally likely to experience an unsuccessful quit attempt because both products provide similar levels of nicotine with similar addictive potential.”

Overall, 249,663 respondents reported having used cigarettes in their lifetime from 1997 to 2020, and in 2020 alone, 3,050 respondents reported using e-cigarettes in their lifetime.

Of these lifetime users, 35,191 respondents reported at least one unsuccessful attempt to quit smoking, and in 2020 alone, 365 respondents reported at least one unsuccessful attempt to quit e-cigarettes.

The percentage of adolescents reporting an unsuccessful quit attempt has decreased from 9.82% in 1997 to 2.23% in 2020 (P

The researchers reported a significantly higher percentage of unsuccessful quit attempts in each year from 1997 to 2001 (9.82% to 7.47%), was not significantly different from 2002 to 2006 ( 6.61% to 4.86%), then was significantly lower each subsequent year from 2007 to 2020 (3.96% to 2.23%).

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