Vaping and COVID-19 Risk: Perceived link and its correlates among at-risk adolescents




Cai, Xioamei
Zhao, Xiaquan
Rossheim, Matthew E.
Xue, Hong


0000-0003-4388-5251 (Rossheim, Matthew E.)

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Elsevier Inc.


Research shows that a significant number of adolescents and young adults quit vaping or reduced the amount of nicotine consumed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is a lack of evidence on adolescent risk perceptions regarding the link between vaping and susceptibility to contracting COVID-19. This study examined the level of perceived COVID-19 risk due to vaping among at-risk adolescents. A sample (N = 1,251) of adolescents aged 13 to 17 and susceptible to future vaping were recruited through Qualtrics to participate in an online survey. More than two thirds of the sample (68.34%) reported that vaping would increase one's risk of contracting COVID-19. Ordinal logistic regression showed that this risk perception was positively associated with perceived prevalence of vaping among peers (AOR = 1.186, 95%CI = 1.019-1.382) and prior exposure to vaping product advertising (AOR = 1.371, 95%CI = 1.221-1.539), and negatively associated with past 30-day vaping (AOR = 0.579, 95%CI = 0.406-0.825) and number of closest friends who vaped (AOR = 0.873, 95%CI = 0.779-0.978). Further analysis stratified by past 30-day vaping showed that, among those who vaped in the past 30 days, vaping-related covid risk perception was positively associated with susceptibility to future vaping (AOR = 1.562, 95%CI = 1.161-2.101) and sensation-seeking (AOR = 1.212, 95%CI = 1.003-1.463). These results are open to different interpretations because of the cross-sectional nature of the data. Additional research is needed to better understand the observed relationships and their implications for vaping prevention during the pandemic.



Cai, X., Zhao, X., Rossheim, M. E., & Xue, H. (2021). Vaping and COVID-19 Risk: Perceived link and its correlates among at-risk adolescents. Preventive medicine reports, 24, 101598.


© 2021 The Authors.


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