College Students’ E-health Literacy, Social Media Use, and Perceptions of E-cigarettes in Taiwan

Li Ling Liao, Li Chun Chang, I. Ju Lai, Chia Kuei Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aimed to examine the relationship between social media use, e-health literacy, and the risk and benefit perceptions of e-cigarettes among college students in Taiwan. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted with 1,571 Taiwanese college students, which included four questionnaires to assess participants’ perceptions, social media use behavior, e-health literacy, and sociodemographic factors. The data were presented in terms of means, standard deviations, and percentages. Stepwise regression was used to identify factors associated with the participants’ perceptions. The study found that 75.01% of the participants were exposed to e-cigarette information on social media, with 31.26% actively searching for it and 15.95% sharing it. Participants had a high e-cigarette risk perception, indicating low benefit perception, but acceptable e-health literacy. Factors such as current e-cigarette and tobacco use, e-health literacy, academic achievement, and sex significantly predicted e-cigarette risk perception, while sharing e-cigarette related information, sex, age, academic achievement, and current e-cigarette use significantly predicted its benefit perception. Thus, implementing effective e-health literacy programs to enhance college students’ e-cigarette risk perception is recommended along with a proactive approach to tackle e-cigarette advertising messages on social media, minimizing their sharing behavior to decrease their perception of associated benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-60
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Community Health
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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