Development and psychometric validation of a novel measure of sensory expectancies associated with E-cigarette use

Meghan E. Morean, Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, Steve Sussman, Jonathan Foulds, Howard Fishbein, Rachel Grana, Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, Hyoshin Kim, Scott R. Weaver, Stephanie S. O'Malley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Introduction: E-cigarette dependence measures largely focus on e-cigarette use (“vaping”) that is linked to nicotine use, and measures assessing sensory aspects of vaping that may influence use (e.g., taste) are limited in scope. Thus, we developed the novel Sensory E-cigarette Expectancies Scale (SEES). Methods: In Summer 2017, 610 adult e-cigarette users (48.7% male, 84.9% White, 37.41[±12.15] years old) completed an online survey that included 23 SEES items. Psychometric analyses included evaluating latent structure, internal consistency, measurement invariance, mean differences, and test-criterion relationships. Results: Factor analyses supported a 9-item, 3-subscale structure (taste/smell, pleasure/satisfaction, vapor cloud production). Subscales evidenced internal consistency and scalar invariance by sex, race, smoking status (current/not), vaping status (daily/not), e-liquid nicotine content (yes/no), and device type (cig-a-likes/vape-pens/Advanced Personal Vaporizers [APVs]/Mods). Women and daily e-cigarette users reported stronger SEEs for taste/smell and pleasure than their counterparts. Non-white participants reported stronger SEEs for cloud production than White participants. Cig-a-like users reported the weakest SEEs for taste/smell and weaker SEEs linked to cloud production than APV/mod users. SEES scores evidenced convergence with nicotine dependence (mean r =.36). Finally, SEES scores predicted vaping frequency and habitual vaping concurrently and incrementally beyond nicotine dependence. Conclusions: The SEES evidenced good psychometric properties, suggesting that the measure can be used to assess sensory vaping expectancies in adults. Importantly, SEES scores indicated that sensory expectancies are related, yet distinct, from nicotine dependence. Future research should evaluate how SEEs relate to product characteristic preferences and patterns of vaping including the development and maintenance of addiction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-215
Number of pages8
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Apr 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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