Electronic cigarette use and sleep health in young adults

Emma I. Brett, Mary Beth Miller, Eleanor L.S. Leavens, Susanna V. Lopez, Theodore L. Wagener, Thad R. Leffingwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Poor sleep health is associated with numerous health concerns, and sleep problems are exacerbated by cigarette smoking. Although rates of traditional tobacco use are declining, rates of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use are comparatively high and growing. Given that nicotine is a primary mechanism by which smoking negatively impacts sleep health, e-cigarette use may also be linked to poor sleep health; however, no research has investigated this association. Participants were 1,664 college students, 40.9% of whom reported ever trying or currently using an e-cigarette. Questionnaires assessed demographic information, sleep health and e-cigarette use status and patterns. All measures were completed remotely via a secure online survey. Analysis of covariance was used to compare the sleep health of daily/non-daily e-cigarette users to (a) non-users and (b) users of combustible cigarettes. Gender and drinks per week were included as covariates in analyses. Current combustible and e-cigarette users reported significantly more sleep difficulties than never users. Users of e-cigarettes reported greater use of sleep medication than combustible cigarette users. Similar to combustible cigarette smoking, e-cigarette use (vs. non-use) was associated with worse sleep health, even among non-daily e-cigarette users. These findings may indicate a need for assessment of and education on the role of e-cigarette use in sleep health among individuals who report experimentation with or current use of e-cigarettes. Future research should examine these relationships prospectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12902
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • college students
  • ENDS
  • insomnia
  • nicotine
  • sleep quality


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