Product Characteristics, Marketing, and E-cigarette and Cigarette Use Across Adolescence and Young Adulthood Project 3

Project 3 will test hypothesized e-cigarette product characteristics and marketing strategies that may attract never-smokers and put them at risk for tobacco product use but do not affect the likelihood that young smokers will adopt and switch to e-cigarettes. Examples of product features that may disproportionately attract never smokers (vs. smokers) include sweet flavors (vs. tobacco or other flavors), devices and e-liquid compositions used to generate large aerosol clouds for “vape tricks” (vs. devices that look and feel like cigarettes), and youth-oriented marketing strategies for e-liquid naming (such as “Kustard Killer”) and packaging with cartoon images. Researchers will survey participants in a cohort of adolescents and young adults (ages 14-25) in Southern California. Findings may inform future regulatory activities related to e-cigarettes.

Principal Investigators

Rob McConnell, M.D.
Professor of Preventive Medicine

Jessica Barrington- Trimis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine

Project Aims

Aim 1: To evaluate the associations of: (a) product characteristics and marketing exposure with e-cigarette interest, (b) e-cigarette interest with subsequent initiation, and (c) marketing exposure with subsequent initiation

Aim 2: To evaluate the association of (a) e-cigarette initiation with cigarette initiation and progression, or discontinuation of tobacco product use, and (b) e-cigarette product characteristics and marketing exposure with dual use, nicotine dependence, or discontinuation of tobacco product use

Aim 3: To evaluate whether associations of product characteristics and marketing with outcomes observed in Aims 1 and 2 differ between baseline never-smokers and smokers

For more information on this project, please contact


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