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Project | Smoking to Vaping

PIs Janet Hoek and Mei-Ling Blank


Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) have become more popular as an alternative to smoking. Yet although ENDS may pose fewer health risks than smoked tobacco, many smokers who start using ENDS continue to smoke. Many studies have examined whether ENDS offer satisfactory nicotine delivery and have suggested the reduced “hit” may explain continued smoking. Fewer studies have explored how social factors may influence the transition from smoking to exclusive ENDS, despite evidence that smoking is a strongly social practice. Gaining a deeper understanding of how transitions from smoking to ENDS use occur could help realise ENDS’ potential to decrease smoking prevalence, and reduce resulting social and health inequalities.

The Smoking to Vaping (S2V) study attempted to address these questions. We probed participants’ lived experiences over time, using qualitative longitudinal interviews to explore how people moved from smoking to vaping, and the different identity positions they navigated as they adopted ENDS and attempted to stop smoking. We also used quantitative daily diary methods to investigate patterns in the transition from smoking to vaping over time.

We hope that gaining a deeper understanding of whether, when and how smokers become vapers, revert to smoking, or even quit vaping, will enrich medical perspectives on smoking cessation, and potentially support more effective intervention strategies.

Research Objectives

  • To compare and contrast how ENDs uptake, experiences and emerging practices evolve.
  • To examine how smoking and vaping evolve and identify environmental factors shaping these patterns using a daily diary-based Ecological Momentary Assessment approach.
  • To develop theory in relation to ENDs and identity by drawing on data gleaned from all sources: in-depth interviews, daily diary surveys, and videographies, and field notes.


Smoking-to-Vaping (S2V) Study: Methods Report

Choice and Variety-Seeking of E-liquids and Flavor Categories by New Zealand Smokers Using an Electronic Cigarette: A Longitudinal Study 

A Descriptive Analysis of Transitions from Smoking to Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) Use: A Daily Diary Investigation.

More information

For further information, please contact:
Professor Janet Hoek
University of Otago

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