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Chineme Enyioha, Marcella H. Boynton, Leah M. Ranney, M. Justin Byron, Adam O. Goldstein & Christine E. Kistler


Background: From a public health perspective, electronic nicotine delivery devices (ENDS) use may be beneficial for some populations (e.g., smokers who fully switch to ENDS) but detrimental for others (e.g., nonsmokers). Understanding the importance placed on different ENDS product features by user groups can guide interventions and regulations. Methods: Participants were US adults who had used ENDS at least once and from a convenience sample drawn from a market research software in 2016. Participants chose between 9 different ENDS product features (harms of use, general effects of use, use as a cessation aid, initial purchase price, monthly cost, nicotine content, flavor availability, device design, and modifiability). A latent class analysis (LCA) identified subgroups of feature preferences and examined differences between groups by socio-demographics and tobacco product use. Results: Of the 636 participants, 81% were White, the median age was 42, and 65% were current cigarette smokers. The LCA identified a 4-class solution as the most appropriate model: (1) people with high nicotine dependence who preferred ENDS similar to combustible cigarettes, (2) people with moderate tobacco use who were interested in low nicotine ENDS (3) people who use ENDS and combustible tobacco who preferred lower price and flavored ENDS products, and (4) people who used ENDS predominantly, without a strong preference for any of the features presented. Conclusions: Tobacco use classes were associated with differences in preferences for ENDS features. These findings can inform regulations to reduce ENDS use among specific groups of people who use ENDS products.


Enyioha C, Boynton MH, Ranney LM, Byron MJ, Goldstein AO, Kistler CE. Preferences for different features of ENDS products by tobacco product use: a latent class analysis. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2022 Mar 9;17(1):18. doi: 10.1186/s13011-022-00448-4. PMID: 35260177; PMCID: PMC8906001.

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