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Electronic cigarette use among adult population: a cross-sectional study in Barcelona, Spain (2013–2014)
  1. Jose M Martínez-Sánchez1,2,3,4,
  2. Montse Ballbè1,2,5,6,
  3. Marcela Fu1,2,5,
  4. Juan Carlos Martín-Sánchez3,
  5. Esteve Saltó7,8,
  6. Mark Gottlieb4,
  7. Richard Daynard4,
  8. Gregory N Connolly9,
  9. Esteve Fernández1,2,5
  1. 1Tobacco Control Unit, Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Institut Català d'Oncologia, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
  2. 2Cancer Prevention and Control Group, Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge—IDIBELL, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
  3. 3Biostatistics Unit, Department of Basic Sciences, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
  4. 4Public Health Advocacy Institute, Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  5. 5Department of Clinical Sciences, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  6. 6Addictions Unit, Institute of Neurosciences, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona—IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain
  7. 7Health Plan Directorate, Ministry of Health, Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
  8. 8Department of Public Health, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  9. 9Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Center for Global Tobacco Control, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jose M Martínez-Sánchez; jmmartinez{at}


Objective This study seeks to analyse the prevalence and correlates of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use, purchase location and satisfaction with its use in a sample of the general population of the city of Barcelona, Spain.

Design, setting and participants We used participants from a longitudinal study of a representative sample of the adult (≥16 years old) population of Barcelona (336 men and 400 women). The field work was conducted between May 2013 and February 2014. We computed the prevalence, adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and their corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results The prevalence of ever e-cigarette use was 6.5% (95% CI 4.7% to 8.3%): 1.6% current use, 2.2% past use and 2.7% only e-cigarette experimentation. 75% (95% CI 62.8% to 87.3%) of ever e-cigarette users were current cigarette smokers at the moment of the interview. E-cigarette use was more likely among current smokers (OR=54.57; 95% CI 7.33 to 406.38) and highly dependent cigarette smokers (OR=3.96; 95% CI 1.60 to 9.82). 62.5% of the ever users charged their e-cigarettes with nicotine with 70% of them obtaining the liquids with nicotine in a specialised shop. 39.6% of ever e-cigarette users were not satisfied with their use, a similar percentage of not satisfied expressing the smokers (38.9%) and there were no statistically significant differences in the satisfaction between the users of e-cigarettes with and without nicotine.

Conclusions E-cigarette use is strongly associated with current smoking (dual use) and most users continue to be addicted to nicotine. Six out of 10 e-cigarette users preferred devices that deliver nicotine. The satisfaction with e-cigarette use is very low.

  • electronic cigarettes
  • e-cigarettes
  • electronic nicotine delivery system

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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