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Anales de la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas (Asunción)

Print version ISSN 1816-8949


SAN MARTIN, Victor; CABALLERO, Andrea Margarita  and  AVEIRO, Perla. Frequency and profile of the electronic cigarettes use in students of a Public University. An. Fac. Cienc. Méd. (Asunción) [online]. 2020, vol.53, n.2, pp.73-78. ISSN 1816-8949.


The consumption of Electronic Cigarettes (EC) has increased considerably in recent years. These products are now the most commonly used by youth in various countries of the world and our country is not exempt from their use. In this context, the present study has been carried out; whose objective was to know the frequency of use of electronic cigarettes and other characteristics of CE consumption in university students.

Materials and methods:

Observational, descriptive study. Data from 1500 students from different UNA Academic Units that responded to the electronic survey were processed. Demographic variables such as sex and age, peculiarities on EC related to the preference for a certain device, motivations for consumption, simultaneity of consumption of common cigarettes, as well as the perception of risk with respect to it and the discomfort caused by vaping were determined. The survey was anonymous and carried out between the months of June and July of the year 2019 through the free platform Google Forms. The Excel spreadsheet was used for data processing. The students received a link via instant messaging application to answer the questionnaire, it was distributed by groups of teachers and delegates of the courses of each academic unit.


A total of 1500 students answered the survey, 502 men (33.5%) and 998 women (66.5%). The average age was 24 years (SD: ±16), with ages between 17 and 62 years. When asked about the habit of smoking or vaping, the students answered: 1222 (81%) do not smoke, use electronic cigarettes: 74 (5%), 146 (10%) use a regular cigarette and a total of 58 (4%) use both products. Considering the total of EC consumers and those who use both (EC and Common Cigarette), we have a frequency of 132 EC consumers (9%). Perception of risk with respect to common cigarettes: No risk 32 (24%), small risk: 54 (41%), moderate risk: 34 (26%), high risk: 9 (7%) and equal risk: 3 (2 %). Among the most frequent complaints: cough 27 (20%), throat irritation 20 (15%), headache 6 (5%) and general discomfort 4 (3%).


The use of EC is close to the consumption of common cigarettes and the university students are not aware of the potential damage that the use of these devices confers. To prevent and reduce the use of electronic cigarettes by youth and young adults, we must implement effective prevention strategies.

Keywords : electronic cigarettes; frequency; risks..

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