Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Psychological Science

Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

John Green

Second Advisor

Judith Christensen


e-cigarettes, conventional cigarettes, nicotine, young adults, motivations


While rates of conventional cigarette smoking having steadily decreased over the past several decades, more and more individuals are beginning to use alternative nicotine products such as e-cigarettes. Chief among these users are young adults, who use the devices at rates higher than any other population. While e-cigarettes have demonstrated the potential to act as tools to aid in the process of conventional cigarette cessation among adult smokers, young adults do not often indicate cessation to be a motivation driving their e-cigarette use. In addition, research has demonstrated that among younger users, e-cigarettes have the potential to lead to future conventional cigarette use. As such, it is important to better understand the motivations underlying e-cigarette use that young adults do identify with. Previous research has indicated the relative importance of both affective and social motivations for use. The current study included these categories as well as categories based on analytical and biological motivations in order to assess participants on a wide range of possible motivations. Consistent with previous research, the results of the current study indicated the importance of affective motivations in driving e-cigarette use. However, participants did not demonstrate the same level of agreement with the social, analytical, and biological motivations. Interventions aimed at reducing the rates of e-cigarette use among young adults would therefore likely benefit from targeting these affective motivations underlying use.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.