Electronic cigarettes are an emerging phenomenon that is becoming increasingly popular with smokers worldwide. Awareness and use of electronic cigarettes have increased dramatically. As the popularity increases it is important to explore more about the characteristics, attitudes and beliefs of smokers.
The aim of this dissertation is to explore attitudes towards electronic cigarettes among smokers and to identify through primary research the linkage between attitudes and behavior. Considering an increase in demand and explosion of electronic cigarettes in the European market in the past four years, this study results will help electronic cigarette companies know more about their consumers and the study will also contribute to the research knowledge as this study will be one of the first studies that explores attitude of smokers towards electronic cigarettes.
The primary research was conducted using qualitative design through the use of focus groups. Two focus groups were conducted with electronic cigarette smokers and tobacco cigarette smokers. The findings of the study were analyzed and discussed with regards to objectives, sub-objectives and relevant literature. The findings revealed gaps in knowledge about the awareness, safety and efficacy of electronic cigarettes. Moreover the arguments were fueled wit uncertainties regarding the long term use of electronic cigarettes and their regulations. Overall the users of electronic cigarettes displayed an extremely positive attitude. On the contrary the tobacco cigarette users had a mixed attitude of both positive and negative towards electronic cigarettes. Furthermore it was noted that there was a lack in long term proven studies for electronic cigarettes which was causing debates and high doubts about the product which resulted in a negative attitude in the minority.
Finally implications for further research include the attitudes of non-smokers and researching the topic with the use of questionnaires, observational studies and case studies is a recommendation for future research. Author keywords: Electronic cigarettes, attitudes, behavior, smoking