Development of a Measure Assessing Perceptions of E-Cigarettes: A Mixed Methods Approach

Dessaray Monique Gorbett, University of Texas at El Paso


Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States (U.S.), killingmore than 480,000 people each year. In recent years, we have seen a steady decline in cigarettesmoking but have seen increased alternative tobacco product use (e.g., electronic cigarettes).Positive perceptions of e-cigarettes are associated with increased e-cigarette use (Amrock,Zakhar, Zhou, & Weitzman, 2015; Chen-Sankey & Kong, Choi, 2019; Pokhrel, Fagan, Kehl, &Herzog, 2015; Simmons et al., 2016). However, studies assessing the perceptions of e-cigarettesvary widely and do not adequately capture perceptions of social norms and the addictiveness ofe-cigarettes. The current study used qualitative and quantitative data to create a valid andreliable measure of e-cigarette perceptions. Study 1 included focus groups assessing adults’perceptions of e-cigarettes in El Paso, TX. In Study 2, a measure of perceptions of e-cigaretteuse was created with the following constructs: Perceptions of Harm (e.g., harm of e-cigarettes),Perceived Behavioral Control (e.g., addiction perceptions), and Social Norms (e.g., use amongfriends and family, and social acceptability among friends and family). In this study, participants(n =80) provided additional qualitative data to assess the content of the items in a sample fromProlific. Finally, Study 3 refined the measure and tested the hypothesized three-factor structureof the measure in a Prolific sample of 400 participants. Results indicate that the hypothesizedfactor structure provided good model fit and the measure demonstrated good convergent anddiscriminant validity. Future research should assess the inclusion of the Perceptions of Benefitsand Long-Term Health Effects. Additionally, future studies should attempt to shorten the currentmeasure. This measure may be used in the creation of policy and interventions.

Subject Area

Psychology|Health sciences

Recommended Citation

Gorbett, Dessaray Monique, "Development of a Measure Assessing Perceptions of E-Cigarettes: A Mixed Methods Approach" (2021). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI28961872.