PURPOSE: Some adolescent users of e-cigarettes and other electronic vaping products (EVPs) report performing "vape tricks" (exhaling aerosol to make shapes). However, little is known about this behavior. We examined the frequency of performing and watching vape tricks and the characteristics of those most likely to perform vape tricks among a sample of adolescent EVP users.
METHODS: We used social media ads to recruit a national convenience sample of U.S. adolescents (n = 1,729) to participate in an online survey in September 2016. Inclusion criteria required participants to be aged 15-17 years and to have used EVPs at least once in the past 30 days.
RESULTS: The majority of EVP-using adolescents reported trying (77.8%) and watching vape tricks in person (83.7%) or online (74.0%). Risk factors for performing tricks included using advanced vaping devices, vaping every day, white race, moderate levels of seeing and sharing vaping information on social media, and believing that EVP use is more normative among peers. Likelihood of trying vape tricks decreased as beliefs about the harmfulness of EVPs increased.
CONCLUSIONS: Vape tricks pose a potential threat to adolescent health if they encourage nonusers to initiate or current EVP users to use more frequently or switch to advanced devices that produce more harmful chemical emissions. Further research should examine the possible health effects of performing vape tricks, and future public health campaigns should be informed by an understanding of the appeal of this activity for adolescents.