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Motivation and main flavour of use, use with nicotine and dual use of electronic cigarettes in Barcelona, Spain: a cross-sectional study
  1. Kailey Bunch1,
  2. Marcela Fu2,3,4,
  3. Montse Ballbè2,3,5,
  4. Nuria Matilla-Santader1,
  5. Cristina Lidón-Moyano1,
  6. Juan Carlos Martin-Sanchez1,
  7. Esteve Fernandez2,3,4,
  8. Jose M Martínez-Sánchez1,2,3
  1. 1 Group of Evaluation of Health Determinants and Health Policies, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Sant Cugat del Valles, Spain
  2. 2 Tobacco Control Unit, Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Institut Català d’Oncologia, Barcelona, Spain
  3. 3 Cancer Prevention and Control Group, Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge–IDIBELL, Barcelona, Spain
  4. 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Medicine, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  5. 5 Addictions Unit, Institute of Neurosciences, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jose M Martínez-Sánchez; jmmartinez{at}


Objective This study seeks to describe current e-cigarette users’ patterns of use including primary motivation for use, dual use, use with nicotine and principal flavour used, according to individuals’ sociodemographic characteristics and conventional tobacco consumption in Barcelona, Spain.

Design, setting and participants This is a cross-sectional study of adult (≥18) current e-cigarette users of Barcelona (n=600), recruited in 2015. Researchers calculated percentages and ORs with their 95% CIs of users’ e-cigarette use with nicotine, primary motivation for use and preferred flavour. The analyses were stratified by sociodemographic variables including sex, age and level of education and by patterns of e-cigarette use and past and current conventional tobacco use.

Results The most prevalent motivation for using e-cigarettes was to reduce tobacco smoking (48%, n=288), followed by quitting smoking (39.2%, n=235), and to use e-cigarettes in places where tobacco smoking was prohibited (10.2%, n=61). The most prevalent primary flavour used was tobacco (49%, n=294), followed by fruit (19.5%, n=117). People younger than 25 years old (OR=4.36, 95% CI 1.99 to 9.57) were more likely than older people to use them where smoking cigarettes was prohibited. A greater proportion of those in the youngest age group preferred fruit flavour compared with older individuals (29.3%, n=41).

Conclusions Younger users of e-cigarettes and non-smokers are more likely to use flavours other than tobacco and to use e-cigarettes mainly for recreational purposes.

  • e-cigarettes
  • ends
  • flavour
  • smoking

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  • Contributors KB drafted the first manuscript with the supervision of JMMS. MF, MB, EF and JMMS contributed to the design and coordination of the study. NMS and CLM prepared the database and KB and JCMS analysed the data. All authors (KB, MF, MB, NMS, CLM, JCMS, EF and JMMS) contributed substantially to the interpretation of data and the successive versions of the manuscript. All authors contributed to the manuscript and approved its final version. JMMS conceived the study and is the principal investigator of the project.

  • Funding The project was cofunded by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Subdirección General de Evaluación, Government of Spain (PI15/00291). The project was also cofunded by ISCIII-Subdirección General de Evaluación and by FEDER funds/European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)—a way to build Europe—in 2015 and Ministry of Universities and Research, Government of Catalonia (grant 2017SGR608).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics Committee of the Bellvitge University Hospital

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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