E-Cigarette Use Among College Students

An investigation by Kenne et al. focuses on a device that has been gaining popularity in recent years, the electronic cigarette. They study the characteristics and prevalence of e-cigarette use among college students (Kenne et al., 2017). In addition, they sought to assess the potential harm of these devices and the prevalence and reasons for using substances other than nicotine in e-cigarettes. Since the purpose of the work is to collect information, the article does not indicate any specific hypothesis, and the research question consists of many parts regarding various aspects of the use of e-cigarettes.

This investigation is essentially observational, following the declared design. According to Kenne et al. (2017), their work is a cross-sectional study that collects students’ data through an online survey. Since this questionnaire is the only method of interaction with the study participants, this work can be considered a full-fledged observational study. As already noted, the only method used in this work was a cross-sectional online survey among all students at Midwestern University (Kenne et al., 2017). Using such a technique to answer the research question is more than adequate. First, the use of the questionnaire allowed the article’s authors to obtain a large amount of data on various topics. In addition, the questionnaire distribution among all university students made it possible to get a relatively large sample of 1542 participants (Kenne et al., 2017). Thus, the authors collected the most relevant data on all components of the research question.

Despite their diversity and belonging to different areas, the collected data can be characterized as quantitative. According to the authors, many questions implied numerical fixed response options, for example, e-cigarette harm scores from 0 to 7 (Kenne et al., 2017). However, some parts of the questionnaire do not fit into the traditional quantitative methodology, such as open-ended questions (Kenne et al., 2017). Nevertheless, from my perspective, the collected data are classified as quantitative due to their processing methods, including descriptive statistics and calculation of averages.

The chosen method of collecting information has several weaknesses, the main of which is the low involvement of participants. According to the authors, they had to set up two reminders and reward students with coupons for ensuring a high turnout (Kenne et al., 2017). In addition, such a method does not guarantee the honesty of the answers. In this context, personal or group interviews would be a much more effective technique.


Kenne, D., Fischbein, R., Tan, A., & Banks, M. (2017). The use of substances other than nicotine in electronic cigarettes among college students. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment 11, 1–8.