Longitudinal research is needed to identify predictors of continued electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use among youth. We expected that certain reasons for first trying e-cigarettes would predict continued use over time (eg, good flavors, friends use), whereas other reasons would not predict continued use (eg, curiosity).


Longitudinal surveys from middle and high school students from fall 2013 (wave 1) and spring 2014 (wave 2) were used to examine reasons for trying e-cigarettes as predictors of continued e-cigarette use over time. Ever e-cigarette users (n = 340) at wave 1 were categorized into those using or not using e-cigarettes at wave 2. Among those who continued using e-cigarettes, reasons for trying e-cigarettes were examined as predictors of use frequency, measured as the number of days using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days at wave 2. Covariates included age, sex, race, and smoking of traditional cigarettes.


Several reasons for first trying e-cigarettes predicted continued use, including low cost, the ability to use e-cigarettes anywhere, and to quit smoking regular cigarettes. Trying e-cigarettes because of low cost also predicted more days of e-cigarette use at wave 2. Being younger or a current smoker of traditional cigarettes also predicted continued use and more frequent use over time.


Regulatory strategies such as increasing cost or prohibiting e-cigarette use in certain places may be important for preventing continued use in youth. In addition, interventions targeting current cigarette smokers and younger students may also be needed.

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