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Comparing factors related to any conventional cigarette smokers, exclusive new alternative product users, and non-users among japanese youth: A nationwide survey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yuki Kuwabara, Aya Kinjo, Maya Fujii, Aya Imamoto, Yoneatsu Osaki, Ann McNeill, Nicholas Beckley-Hoelscher

Original languageEnglish
Article number3128
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

King's Authors


The impact of heated-tobacco-products (HTPs) and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) on youth is a controversial public health issue, as it is unknown whether alternative products result in more youth using such products or smoking. In Japan, e-cigarettes with nicotine are prohibited, but e-cigarettes without nicotine are available. HTPs are marketed as tobacco products. Within this unique context, we aimed to compare any conventional cigarette smokers (including those who also used alternative products) with exclusive users of alternative products and examine factors relating to their use in Japan. In 2017, 22,275 students in grades 7–9 (age 12–15) and 42,142 in grades 10–12 (age 15–18) nationwide were surveyed. Overall, 1.8% were current users of any of the three products over the last month. Multivariable analysis revealed that risk factors for alternative product use were the same as those for cigarette use. Among all users, exclusive new product users were more likely to participate in club activities and intend to continue to higher education; any conventional cigarette users (including those who also used alternative products) were more likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke at home and to drink alcohol. Reducing adult smoking and disseminating health education remain relevant as strategies for preventing adolescents’ future tobacco use.

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