While e-cigarettes are frequently used as devices for smoking cessation in adults, researchers found most students in the survey (including 47.8 percent of those who recently smoked cigarettes) were motivated by the "cool/fun/something new" features of e-cigarettes.

The study involved 2,367 students aged 14-15 years enrolled in grade nine in Canada.

Previous studies have found increasing rates of e-cigarette use by adolescents in the US and Canada, and some have found higher rates of e-cigarette use in adolescents exposed to tobacco.

Researchers from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Heart Niagara in Canada sought to understand the motivation, frequency and other factors for use of e-cigarettes by teens who were part of a school-based programme that screens for cardiovascular risk factors.

Of the 2,367 teens who responded to at least one question in the smoking section of the survey, nearly 70 percent (1,599) had heard about e-cigarettes; almost a quarter of them had learned about them from a display or a sign in a store. Over 10 percent (238) had used e-cigarettes.

E-cigarette use was more common among male respondents who were already using cigarettes and other tobacco products, and in those whose family or friends smoked. Smoking cessation did not appear to be a driver of e-cigarette use.

"Use of e-cigarettes was also associated with lower self-identified health level, greater stress level and a lower estimated household income, which suggests that e-cigarette  use may have some key associations that may help to identify adolescents at risk," researchers said.
The study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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