¡No Smoking Por Vapor! Systematic Literature Review Examining the Attitudes Toward, Beliefs About, Perceived Risks and Benefits of Electronic Cigarettes and Toward Their Use Among United States Youth
Electronic cigarettes are an emerging topic of discussion and debate in Public Health. Their ability to deliver nicotine in the form of vapor gave rise to the idea of electronic cigarettes being used as nicotine replacement therapy. However, the risks to health that electronic cigarettes pose remain in question and are under study. For example, some constituents of the electronic cigarette’s vapor are known to contain certain compounds that have been documented to cause health-related complications, such as negative respiratory symptoms. Worse, electronic cigarette use was associated with progression to use of conventional cigarettes, particularly among youth. This systematic literature review examines the attitudes toward, beliefs about, perceived risks and benefits of electronic cigarettes and toward their use among United States youth. The primary aim is to compile this information from previous literature, and use it to gain insight into the general attitudes and beliefs of American youth on electronic cigarettes and their use. Using the formulated search strategy on OVID(Medline) database, 11 articles were identified as being relevant to this study given the inclusion and exclusion criteria applied. Most commonly, participants across studies reported a perception that electronic cigarettes are less harmful to one’s health. Further, the literature reported that United States youth perceive that electronic cigarettes can be or have been used to quit smoking conventional cigarettes, but with varied perception of success. Findings from this capstone may help to guide clinical, practice, and policy discussions around the use and distribution of electronic cigarettes, as well as contribute to the foundation of evidence used by health care providers addressing patient-related concerns about electronic cigarettes.