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Table 2 Contexts of cigarette use

From: Contexts of cigarette and e-cigarette use among dual users: a qualitative study





 When strong stimulation is needed

“And I just recently bought a pack of cigarettes, over the weekend, just because I had to go to work at 5:00, and I only got two hours of sleep that night, so I was really off, like super tired. So I went to work, and at my break, I went to buy a pack of cigarettes to wake me up even more, so I could deal with customers and not seem tired. Because it’s so immediate, the effect of nicotine.” (20 year old man)

 When craving is strong

“It’s kind of hard to quit cigarettes though, it gives you that craving and you absolutely need it.” (23 year old woman)

 When stressed

“So there are times when I’m like, stressed out, or even if I’m just bored or had a long day or will have a long day like today, I’ll definitely go out for a cigarette.” (28 year old woman)

 As laxative

“So in the morning if I have to poop, I need a cigarette. Because I need to relax my body to get stuff out.” (25 year old man)



 After/before eating

‘I think after you eat and you’re really full, cigarettes are better. Like for me I like it a lot better than my e-cig.’ (30 year old man)

 After work-out

“Actually my favorite time to smoke cigarette is after a workout. Because you just worked a lot of it out of your system, and then it hits you with the best head buzz, like you just started it again.” (24 year old man)

 After waking up/before going to bed

“[I have] been vaping for six months. I still smoke cigarettes twice a day. Once in the morning after waking up and once in the evening before going to bed”. (31 year old woman)

 After sex

“After a meal or after sex the e-cigarettes don’t cut it, you know what I mean?” (33 year old man)



 When cigarette or smokers are nearby

“And it depends on if cigarettes are near you. Like you said your roommate smokes, and my husband, when he’s home, he smokes cigarettes. So if there are cigarettes in my house, and they’re right there, it’s harder than if I just don’t buy them.” (33 year old woman)

 Special occasions

“So I’m a professional musician, so after gigs, usually. And then at rehearsals. Yeah, can’t avoid it.” (32 year old man)

 When not scheduled to meet anyone

“If I don’t have to see anybody for a few hours I’m going to smoke a regular cigarette.” (26 year old female)


“I joke around it’s like I use e-cig to smoke indoors and use cigarettes to smoke outdoors.” (35 year old man)

 On the weekend/While partying

“I switch over to cigarettes on the weekend, when I am partying.” (22 year old man)

 When socializing with friends

“Other people smoking. Like if you’re with a group, and people go, ‘Let’s go outside for a smoke.’ Then you want to. It’s hard to be like, ‘I'll go with you, with my e-cig.’ I mean you can, which is nice, but it’s easy to want a real cigarette in that situation.” (26 year old woman)

Other substances


 When drunk

“When I’m drunk, I do prefer smoking cigarettes.”(27 year old man)

 When using marijuana

“But also the weed factor plays into it, because then I also need a real cigarette.” (22 year old man)

 With coffee

“I usually have to have a cigarette in the morning, when I’m drinking coffee.” (33 year old man)

E-cigarette substitute


 When e-cigarette is not available

“Like I said, I don’t have that urge to smoke. The only time I will smoke a cigarette is if I go out drinking, and this will die on me. Then I go out and buy a pack, or if I want to have a cigarette I’ll have a cigarette. But then I’m fine, I don’t feel the urge to keep going.” (30 year old man)

 When switching from one e-cigarette to another

“When I first started I quit smoking cigarettes for a good three or four months, I didn’t have a single cigarette. And then I don’t know what happened, I had the little one like that [e-cigarette], but it just wasn’t doing it for me, it wasn’t strong enough. So I switched to the bigger one. But in that time period before I switched to the bigger one, I started smoking cigarettes again.” (33 year old woman)