Perceptions of and Experiences With Cigarette and E-Cigarette Use Among a Diverse Population of US Latino Adolescents and Young Adults

Fernanda Alonso, Jessica Rath, A. Susana Ramírez, Jennifer Cantrell, Ashton Jordan, Sebastian Suarez, Meghan B. Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To determine potential unique factors influencing cigarette and e-cigarette use in US Latino youth. Approach: We conducted a qualitative study assessing cigarette and e-cigarette perceptions and experiences, including experiences with/perceptions of the products, cultural influences and influences of friends and family. Setting: Four online discussion boards, conducted in October 2020. Participants: 92 Latino youth aged 15-21 years living in the US. Method: Data from the discussion groups were coded and analyzed by three trained coders using a thematic analysis approach. Results: Stress relief emerged as the dominant theme connected with both cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Apart from stress, perceptions of and experiences with the products differed. E-cigarettes were commonly viewed as trendy and cool and participants often reported using them due to curiosity and popularity. Participants commonly compared e-cigarettes to cigarettes, noting benefits of e-cigarettes. Participants also noted more negative short and long-term health effects of cigarette use, and discussed generational differences between the two products. Conclusion: Findings from this study help address a dearth of research examining tobacco use among diverse groups of Latino youth. Findings indicate that despite differences in country of heritage, Latino youth are united by similar opinions about cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Additionally, they share cultural values and experiences which could be leveraged for tobacco control communications that cut across populations of Latino youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)646-653
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Latino health
  • Latino youth
  • adolescent health
  • cigarettes
  • e-cigarettes
  • health disparities
  • qualitative research
  • tobacco control
  • tobacco use
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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