BACKGROUND: A recent study of adult smokers who vape found that disposable/cigalike electronic (e-) cigarette devices were more commonly used than later generation devices. However, whether these trends reflect patterns among adolescents and young adults, many of whom have limited or no history of combustible cigarette use, has not been studied.
METHODS: Participants were drawn from 8 locally, regionally, and U.S. nationally representative studies. Surveys took place between Fall 2014 and Spring 2016; participants were residents of California (3 studies), Texas (2 studies), Connecticut (1 study), or randomly selected from the United States population (2 studies). Data were collected from middle and high school students (4 studies), young adults under 30 (3 studies), or a mixture (1 study) to assess type of e-cigarette device used among past-30 day e-cigarette users: disposable/cigalike, or later generation e-cigarette device.
RESULTS: Fewer than 15% of participants in each study reported primarily using a disposable/cigalike device in the past month (across all studies: 7.5%; 95%CI: 4.9%, 10.5%). The proportion using later generation devices ranged from 58% to 86% across studies; overall, 77.0% (95%CI: 70.5%, 82.9%) reported primary use of a later generation device. Combined, 13.2% (95%CI: 5.9%, 22.8%) reported "don't know" or were missing data.
CONCLUSIONS: Among adolescent and young adult e-cigarette users, primary use of disposable/cigalike devices was rare. Future research should continue to evaluate the type of device used by adolescents and young adults, as these data may be relevant to regulatory oversight of e-cigarettes recently acquired by the Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products.
IMPLICATIONS: In this pooled analysis of adolescent and young adult vapers, primary use of later generation e-cigarette devices was substantially more common than use of disposable/cigalike devices. The type of device predominantly used by adolescents and young adults has regulatory implications for policy to reduce adolescent use of e-cigarettes.