Using electronic cigarettes, or vaping, is a trend among college students therefore it is important to know where students go to find information on vaping. It is also important to know what information students believe.
A recent study surveyed college students and asked them where they had heard about e-cigarettes and what information they were given. Additional students who were users of e-cigarettes were interviewed to determine credibility of sources.
The results showed that students gather information on vaping through peers, media, advertising, and education/research. Through these sources, common information that was collected by college students included claims of positive effects of vaping from advertising as well as hearing about negative effects through education. They believed that friends who vaped were the most credible source of information.
Given that many of the advertisements on e-cigarettes claim health information that have not been established and portray e-cigarette use positively, it is important for those in health education to provide accurate information on e-cigarettes through channels that students commonly access.
Take Away: Vaping is common among college students, and though conflicting information is given to students through channels such as media, advertising, and education, they see the most credible source on e-cigarette use as being friends who vape. This shows potential for education through these resources so that students can get accurate information on e-cigarettes.
Dobbs, P.D., Clawson, A.H., Gowin, M., Cheney, M.K. (2019). Where college students look for vaping information and what they believe. The Journal of American College Health. doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2018.1549557