Prior studies indicate a link between poor academic performance and e-cigarette use in high school students (18 years and below). However, the effect of post high school education on e-cigarette use is poorly summarized in literature.

The objective of the current study was to determine if there was a difference in prevalence of past 30-day e-cigarette use in a national sample of young adults due to different educational levels. Four groups of young adults were studied based on their level of education: High School Dropouts, High School Graduates/GED, Current College Students, and College Graduates. Data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study was used to assess the association between educational attainment and e-cigarette use in young adults (ages 18-24). Relative e-cigarette use was measured via a survey, along with other control variables, across the four groups. Common factors affecting use across each educational attainment group were also analyzed.

It was found that e-cigarette use tended to decrease as educational attainment increased among young adults. That is, higher levels of education seemed to be a protective factor against e-cigarette use when controlled for other factors.

This study expands past research on this topic to include young adults as they transition from adolescents to adults. Prior studies established a link between academic performance at the same educational level (high school). This study indicates a difference in e-cigarette use between different educational levels. This study also differentiates between e-cigarette use among High School Dropouts and High School Graduates/GED.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Ford, Jason


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Sciences





Access Status

Open Access

Release Date


Included in

Sociology Commons