La Trobe
1102948_Hoek,J_2017.pdf (738.08 kB)

Qualitative analysis of young adult ENDS users' expectations and experiences

Download (738.08 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2021-02-15, 01:22 authored by J Hoek, Johannes ThrulJohannes Thrul, P Ling
© Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. Objectives Despite extensive research into the determinants of electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) uptake, few studies have examined the psychosocial benefits ENDS users seek and experience. Using a consumer ritual framework, we explored how ENDS users recreated or replaced smoking practices, and considered implications for smoking cessation. Design In-depth interviews; data analysed using thematic analysis. Setting Dunedin, New Zealand. Participants 16 young adult ENDS users (age M=21.4, SD=1.9; 44% female). Results Participants reported using different ENDS to achieve varying outcomes. Some used cigalikes' to recreate a physically and visually similar experience to smoking; they privileged device appearance over nicotine delivery. In contrast, others used personally crafted mods to develop new rituals that differentiated them from smokers and showcased their technical expertise. Irrespective of the device they used, several former smokers and dual users of cigarettes and ENDS experienced strong nostalgia for smoking attributes, particularly the elemental appeal of fire and the finiteness of a cigarette. Non-smoking participants used ENDS to maintain social connections with their peers. Conclusions Participants used ENDS to construct rituals that recreated or replaced smoking attributes, and that varied in the emphasis given to device appearance, nicotine delivery, and social performance. Identifying how ENDS users create new rituals and the components they privilege within these could help promote full transition from smoking to ENDS and identify those at greatest risk of dual use or relapse to cigarette smoking.


This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector


Publication Date



BMJ Open





Article Number



8p. (p. 1-8)


B M J Group



Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.