Introduction: Electronic nicotine delivery systems ENDS have become popular in the United States among both new users of nicotine and those seeking less harmful alternatives to traditional cigarettes. Users often perceive ENDS as being less harmful than traditional cigarettes. This study investigated the relationship between use of ENDS and asthma in a representative sample of adults. Methods: For this cross-sectional study, we used data from the Kentucky Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System telephone survey data from 2016-2017. Using a weighted multivariable logistic regression analysis, we identified important covariates to adjust for to calculate the population attributable fraction (PAF) of asthma due to ENDS and other modifiable risk factors factors (cigarette use, obesity, education, and employment). The confidence intervals for the PAFs were estimated using bootstrap methods of variance estimation. Results: We found that 10.6% of those aged 18-30 reported currently had asthma. After adjusting for noted covariates, ENDS use did not significantly increase the odds of asthma. In the final PAF model, the PAF of asthma due to ENDS was 0.4% (95% CI: -5.41, 6.21). Conclusion: While these findings suggest only modest effects of ENDS use on asthma prevalence, future research including older age groups and more long-term users might produce different results.

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Published in Substance Use & Misuse, v. 56, issue 3.

© 2021 The Author(s) This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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This project was funded by a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.