Although e-cigarette use is on the rise among youth and adults, there is little understanding of the individual difference factors at a cognitive level of analysis for e-cigarette beliefs and quit behavior. Method: The present investigation sought to test a theoretically-driven interactive model of positive expectancies for e-cigarettes and anxiety sensitivity (fear of the consequences of anxiety) among 551 adult e-cigarette users (50.6% female, Mage = 35.2 years, SD = 10.1). Results: Results indicated a significant interaction between positive expectancies for e-cigarette use and AS was significantly related to greater perceived benefits of e-cigarette use, greater perceived risk of e-cigarette use, and more serious attempts for trying to quit e-cigarettes. The significant interaction effect for each dependent variable was evident over and above the main effects as well as the covariates of sex, income, education, and concurrent combustible cigarette use. The form of this interaction indicated that e-cigarette users higher in AS who also maintained more positive outcome expectancies for e-cigarette use reported more perceived benefits as well as more perceived risk of e-cigarette use and engaged in more (failed) attempts to quit e-cigarettes. Conclusions: Overall, the current data suggest that individual differences in AS and positive expectancies may represent two important factors to consider in e-cigarette beliefs and quit attempts.
This study provides the first empirical evidence of a transdiagnostic construct (anxiety sensitivity) in relation to e-cigarette use and how it interplays with positive expectancies for e-cigarette use beliefs and behavior. These novel data suggest future clinical research may benefit by understanding the potential therapeutic role of anxiety sensitivity and expectancies for e-cigarette use behavior.