Examining the relationship between impulsivity-related personality traits and e-cigarette use in adults

Kale, Dimitra; Pickering, Alan and Cooper, Andrew. 2020. Examining the relationship between impulsivity-related personality traits and e-cigarette use in adults. Addictive Behaviors, 106, 106348. ISSN 0306-4603 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between impulsivity-related personality traits based on the UPPS-P model and e-cigarette use. The study used a sample of mainly European adults and compared e-cigarette users with non-smokers, cigarette smokers and dual users (those who currently smoke cigarettes and use e-cigarettes). Additionally, the relationship between impulsivity-related traits and frequency and intensity of e-cigarette use was examined, while the main reasons for e-cigarette use were also assessed.

Participants were 720 adults (234 non-smokers, 164 smokers, 150 e-cigarette users, 172 dual users), who completed online questionnaires regarding sociodemographics, smoking/e-cigarette use behaviour, and impulsivity (UPPS-P scale).

Impulsivity-related traits did not significantly differentiate e-cigarette users from non-smokers. E-cigarette users showed lower levels of lack of perseverance than cigarette smokers, and they exhibited lower levels of negative and positive urgency than dual users. Negative urgency also significantly differentiated smokers and non-smokers, with smokers having higher levels of the trait. No significant results were found examining the relationship between the impulsivity-related traits and e-cigarette behaviour (number of days vaping per month, number of times vaping per day, and millilitres of e-liquid used per day). The main reason given for e-cigarette use was the perception that it is less harmful than cigarettes.

The present study found that trait impulsivity differentiated e-cigarette users from cigarette smokers and dual users, but did not differentiate e-cigarette users from non-smokers. Such findings are important to not only help us identify factors associated with e-cigarette use, but also to potentially inform treatment plans and decisions.

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Identification Number (DOI):



impulsivity, e-cigarette use, UPPS-P model, smoking

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6 February 2020Accepted
13 February 2020Published Online
July 2020Published

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Date Deposited:

17 Feb 2020 15:28

Last Modified:

13 Aug 2021 01:26

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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