The following is a summary of “Roswell eND scale: Brief, valid assessment of nicotine dependence adults seeking to discontinue e-cigarette use,” published in the February 2023 issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence by Sheffer et al.
Most adult users of e-cigarettes and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) products want to quit using them. However, quitting ENDS use may be more challenging because of the onset of nicotine withdrawal and dependence symptoms. Brief, reliable assessments of nicotine dependence should inform treatment for nicotine addiction among people who use ENDS. Therefore, researchers aimed to create a quick, valid instrument to assess nicotine dependency in adults calling a busy Quitline to quit using ENDS. The Roswell ENDS Nicotine Dependency Scale (Roswell eND Scale) and the Penn State E-Cigarette Dependence Index were tested for content, construct, and concurrent validity in this cross-sectional study (Penn State eCDI). New York Quitline users who called between November 2019 and June 2020 were eligible to participate.
Both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to probe construct validity. Cotinine, a biomarker of nicotine intake, was then associated with instrument and factor scores. All 209 subjects had a heavy dependence on nicotine and utilized other substances with smoking. The 5-item Roswell eND Scale showed criterion-related validity by correlating positively with salivary cotinine levels, while the other instrument merely showed content and construct validity. When used by persons who use both ENDS and cigarettes, the 5-item Roswell eND Scale provides a quick and accurate assessment of nicotine dependence. These preliminary psychometric results may apply to other adults trying to reduce ENDS usage, including many current and past smokers.