Introduction: The objectives of the current study were to compare hospitalized smokers' expectancies for electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) against their expectancies for tobacco cigarettes and evaluate relationships between e-cigarette expectancies and intention to use e-cigarettes. Methods: Analysis of baseline data from a one-year longitudinal observational study. The setting was a tertiary care academic center hospital in the Southeastern U.S. Participants were 958 hospitalized tobacco cigarette smokers. A questionnaire of e-cigarette expectancies based on the Brief Smoking Consequences Questionnaire-Adult (BSCQ-A) was developed and administered along with the original, tobacco-specific, BSCQ-A. Intention to use e-cigarettes was assessed with a single 10-point Likert scale item. Results: Participants reported significantly weaker expectancies for e-cigarettes relative to tobacco cigarettes on all 10 BSCQ-A scales. Participants held sizably weaker expectancies that e-cigarettes pose health risks ( p<..001, Cohen's d= - 2.07), relieve negative affect ( p<..001, Cohen's d= - 1.01), satisfy the desire for nicotine ( p<..001, Cohen's d= -.83), and taste pleasant ( p<..001, Cohen's d= -.73). Among the strongest predictors of intention to use e-cigarettes were greater expectancies that e-cigarettes taste pleasant ( p<..001, adjusted β=.34), relieve negative affect ( p<..001, adjusted β=.32), and satisfy the desire for nicotine ( p<..001, adjusted β=.31). Conclusions: Hospitalized tobacco smokers expect fewer negative and positive outcomes from e-cigarettes versus tobacco cigarettes. This suggests that e-cigarettes might be viable though imperfect substitutes for tobacco cigarettes.