Semester of Graduation

Spring 2024


Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) use and alcohol use are prevalent among young adults and college students. Recent data indicate that ENDS use is significantly associated with alcohol consumption and hazardous drinking behavior (e.g., binge drinking). Given the perceived benefits students report that are common across ENDS and alcohol use (e.g., tension reduction), it is important to examine the role these beliefs play in the co-use of alcohol and ENDS, as both behaviors are associated with risks. In the present study, we investigated the relationship among ENDS use, alcohol use, ENDS use motives, and alcohol expectancies in undergraduate college students through an online survey. We hypothesized that: (1) ENDS use would be more prevalent among students who drink alcohol versus nondrinkers, and heavier ENDS use would be associated with higher alcohol consumption and binge drinking, as has been found in other studies; (2) greater alcohol consumption would be associated with greater endorsement of ENDS use motives and nicotine dependence; and (3) the association between ENDS and alcohol use would be mediated by positive alcohol expectancies that are empirically or theoretically also associated with ENDS use. Participants (N = 511) were largely female (76.9%), White (75.9%), and an average of 19.9 (SD = 1.3) years of age. Most participants (79.1%) reported alcohol use, with 36.4% of participants engaging in hazardous drinking, and 41.5% of participants endorsed current ENDS use. As predicted, and alcohol consumption was significantly correlated with ENDS use motives (all p’s < .001), whereas non-use of ENDS was significantly associated with greater hazardous drinking (p = .023), and ENDS use was less likely in relation to alcohol consumption (p = .044). Alcohol expectancies for Tension Reduction partially mediated the association between alcohol and ENDS use (p = .026). These findings highlight the importance of studying ENDS use in the context of alcohol use among college vi students, particularly those with problematic drinking patterns. Tension Reduction expectancies appear to mutually compel ENDS use and drinking behavior in college students. This information can inform evidence-based prevention and intervention efforts with this population.



Committee Chair

Cohen, Alex S.