Faculty Sponsor

Terry Kessler





Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 2021


The college-aged demographic is at risk for adverse effects surrounding usage of electronic vaping devices (Kenney et al., 2017). This mixed-method study assessed attitudes and beliefs about the use of electronic vaping devices held by college students and identified vaping use despite adverse health effects. Fitting with the social learning theory and transtheoretical model, beliefs and attitudes towards vaping are derived from various sources including social norms and perceived effects (Bandura, 1986) as well as decisions to change vaping behaviors (Prochaska & Velicer, 1997). 800 undergraduates at a faith-based, Midwestern university were invited to participate via Survey Monkey®. Data were collected and analyzed in order to further understand relationships and opinions existing between college students and the use of electronic vaping devices. 487 students responded (60.87% response rate). 17.85% used an electronic vaping device in the last 30 days; 46% indicated they had quit or planned to quit within the next 6 months; 43.14% began vaping in high school. Following the survey, three focus groups (n = 34) were conducted for a discussion regarding usage of and attitudes towards vaping practices. Five themes emerged: safer than smoking, cool in high school, generationally chill, quitting because of consequences, and ease of accessibility. The majority of participants started vaping in high school because it was cool, and their peers were non-judgmental. Even though participants believed vaping was safer than smoking, a majority agreed that they quit or were planning to quit because of consequences. Results should direct education for college students.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

We became interested in this problem due to the increasing demand for these products and the unknown effects it has. We are seeing vaping use have an impact on COVID cases and health of younger and younger people.