Content Analysis of US News Stories About E-Cigarettes in 2015.
ABSTRACT: Background:Coverage of e-cigarettes in the news media may shape public perceptions about them but little is known about such news content. This content analysis characterized discussion of e-cigarettes in leading print and online US news sources in 2015. Methods:We searched Access World News and Factiva databases for e-cigarette-related news articles appearing in the top 30 circulating newspapers, 4 newswires, and 4 online news sources in the United States in 2015 (n = 295). Coders identified the presence of various e-cigarette topics (e.g. regulation), and benefit and risk statements. Results:Nearly half of articles (45.1%) focused primarily on e-cigarette policy/regulatory issues, although e-cigarette prevalence (21.0%) and health effects (21.7%) were common main topics. Concerns about youth were frequently mentioned, including the rise in youth e-cigarette use (45.4%), gateway to smoking potential (33.9%) and appeal of flavors (22.4%). Youth e-cigarette prevalence was more frequently mentioned than adult prevalence in articles discussing FDA regulation (61% vs. 13.5%, respectively). News articles more frequently discussed potential e-cigarette risks or concerns (80%) than benefits (45.4%), such as smoking harm-reduction. Quoted physicians, researchers, and government representatives were more likely to refer to e-cigarette risks than benefits. Conclusions:In 2015, rising rates of e-cigarette use among youth and policy strategies to address e-cigarettes dominated US e-cigarette news stories, leading up to their FDA regulation in 2016. Statements about e-cigarettes' potential risks were frequently attributed to trusted sources such as physicians, and outnumbered claims about their harm-reduction benefits. Such coverage may impact e-cigarette risk perceptions, use intentions and policy support. Implications:In the year leading up to the FDA's Deeming Rule, concerns about youth use or potential use were frequently discussed in e-cigarette news. News articles more frequently discussed potential e-cigarette risks/concerns compared to potential harm-reduction benefits relative to tobacco cigarettes. While such coverage may inform the public about potential e-cigarette risks, they may also contribute to increasing perceptions that e-cigarettes are as harmful as tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarette risk and benefit statements were most frequently made by or attributed to researchers and physicians in articles, which is significant given that they may be particularly trusted sources of e-cigarette risk information.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite progress in reducing youth smoking, adolescents remain highly susceptible to tobacco use. Of concern is whether youth perceive electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as a preferable alternative to conventional cigarettes. PURPOSE:To describe cigarette harm perception patterns among youth based on the frequency and intensity of cigarette smoking, and examine the relative harm perceptions of conventional versus e-cigarettes, using data from a large, nationally representative sample of U.S. youth. METHODS:Data from the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey (N=24,658) were analyzed in 2013 to identify patterns of cigarette harm perceptions. Multinomial logistic regression was conducted to identify associations between demographic and tobacco use characteristics and cigarette harm perception patterns. Logistic regression was conducted to examine the relationship between cigarette harm perceptions and the perception of e-cigarettes as less harmful than cigarettes for current, ever, and never cigarette smokers. RESULTS:The majority of youth (64.2%) perceived the harmfulness of cigarettes as dose-dependent. Approximately one in three students perceived e-cigarettes as less harmful than conventional cigarettes. Regardless of cigarette smoking status, ever users of e-cigarettes and those with "dose-dependent" cigarette harm perceptions consistently were more likely to perceive e-cigarettes as less harmful than conventional cigarettes. CONCLUSIONS:Many youth perceive tobacco use on a continuum of harm. Youth who perceive gradations in harm-both by frequency and intensity of cigarette use and by type of product-may be particularly susceptible to e-cigarette use.
Project description:IMPORTANCE:The prevalence of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use is increasing. Population health effects will depend on cigarette smoking behaviors, levels of dual use with conventional cigarettes, and e-cigarette toxicity. OBJECTIVE:To evaluate potential health effects of various scenarios of increasing promotion and use of e-cigarettes. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:A base case model was developed using data on actual cigarette and e-cigarette use patterns that quantifies transitions from an initial state of no cigarette or e-cigarette use to 1 of 5 final states: never use of cigarettes or e-cigarettes, cigarette use, e-cigarette use, dual use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes, or quit. Seven scenarios were created that cover a range of use patterns, depending on how the e-cigarette market might develop, as well as a range of possible long-term health effects of e-cigarette use. Scenarios for changes from the base case were evaluated using Monte Carlo simulations. Separate sets of base case model parameters were evaluated for the US and UK populations. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:We assigned unitless health "costs" for each final state on a scale of 0 to 100. Population health "costs" were compared with the base case (status quo) assuming e-cigarette use health "costs" from 1% to 50% as dangerous as conventional cigarette use health costs. RESULTS:Compared with the base case, a harm reduction scenario in which e-cigarette use increases only among smokers who are interested in quitting with more quit attempts and no increased initiation of e-cigarette use among nonsmokers, and another scenario in which e-cigarettes are taken up only by youth who would have smoked conventional cigarettes, had population-level health benefits regardless of e-cigarette health costs in both the United States and United Kingdom. Conversely, scenarios in which e-cigarette promotion leads to renormalization of cigarette smoking or e-cigarettes are used primarily by youth who never would have smoked showed net health harms across all e-cigarette health costs. In other scenarios, the net health effect varied on the basis of the health cost of e-cigarettes. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:According to this analysis, widespread promotion of e-cigarettes may have a wide range of population-level health effects, depending on both e-cigarette health risks and patterns of use. Absent the primary effect of e-cigarette promotion being only to divert current or future conventional cigarette smokers to e-cigarette use, the current uncertainty about the health risks of e-cigarettes, increasing e-cigarette use among youth, and the varying health effects at different e-cigarette health costs suggest a potential for harm.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Youth may be attracted to menthol cigarettes because they are perceived as less harmful and harsh to smoke relative to non-menthol cigarettes. This study examined demographic factors and menthol cigarette smoking patterns as correlates of youth harm perceptions of cigarette smoking and ease of smoking menthol versus non-menthol cigarettes. METHODS:Data were from the Wave 1 (2013-2014) youth sample of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study. Weighted multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine correlations between demographic factors and menthol cigarette smoking patterns (menthol initiation, past 30-day menthol cigarette smoking, and menthol cigarette brand preference), with harm perceptions of cigarette smoking and ease of smoking a menthol cigarette. RESULTS:Nearly half of ever cigarette smoking youth (43%) first used a menthol cigarette; 21% reported past 30-day menthol cigarette smoking; and 42% of past 30-day smokers providing brand information used a menthol cigarette as their preferred brand. In bivariate analyses, initiation with a menthol cigarette and menthol brand preference (versus non-menthol) were correlated with black race, older age at initiation, and past 30-day menthol cigarette smoking. In adjusted models, past 30-day menthol cigarette smoking and menthol cigarette brand preference, but not menthol initiation, were correlated with the perception that menthol cigarettes are easier to smoke. CONCLUSIONS:Youth who smoke menthol cigarettes perceive them as easier to smoke, even after adjusting for other factors. Age of initiation and black race emerged as correlates of menthol cigarette initiation, brand preference, and cigarette harm perceptions, and may inform future prevention campaigns.
Project description:Although e-cigarettes in the United States are required to carry one nicotine addiction warning, little is known about the impact of other potential e-cigarette warning themes, nor about pairing warnings with messages that communicate e-cigarettes' reduced-harm potential relative to cigarettes. We randomly assigned 876 young adults (ages 18?29) to view e-cigarette ads in a 3 × 2 plus control online experiment that varied by warning theme (i.e., nicotine addiction; nicotine's impact on adolescent brain development; presence of harmful chemicals) and warning type-i.e., the presence ("relative harm warning") or absence ("standard warning") of a relative harm (RH) statement in the warning label ("e-cigarettes may cause harm to health but are less harmful than cigarettes"). Warning believability, informativeness, understandability and support were high across conditions and there were no significant differences by warning theme on e-cigarette harm perceptions or use intentions nor on nicotine (mis)perceptions. Perceived warning effectiveness for discouraging youth initiation was higher for the "brain" and "chemicals" warnings compared to the addiction warning. Warnings with the included RH statement were perceived as less believable and credible and were less frequently correctly recalled. Research should continue to investigate the impact of different e-cigarette warning themes and formats with priority audiences.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:The tobacco control community has raised some concerns about whether studies on electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) published in scientific journals hide conflicts of interest (COI) and whether such reports are biased. This study assessed potential COI in the e-cigarette scientific literature. METHODS:Cross-sectional study was conducted on e-cigarette publications indexed in PubMed up to August 2014. We extracted information about the authors (affiliations, location, etc.), publication characteristics (type, topic, subject, etc.), results and conclusions, presence of a COI statement, and funding by and/or financial ties to pharmaceutical, tobacco, and/or e-cigarette companies. An algorithm to determine the COI disclosure status was created based on the information in the publication. Prevalence ratios (PRs) and confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to identify associations with COI disclosure, controlling for several independent variables. RESULTS:Of the 404 publications included in the analysis, 37.1% (n=150) had no COI disclosure statement, 38.6% declared no COI, 13.4% declared potential COI with pharmaceutical companies, 3.0% with tobacco companies, and 10.6% with e-cigarette companies. The conclusions in publications with COI, which were mainly tied to pharmaceutical companies, were more likely to be favourable to e-cigarette use (PR=2.23; 95% CI: 1.43-3.46). Publications that supported the use of e-cigarettes for both harm reduction (PR=1.81; 95%CI: 1.14-2.89) and smoking cessation (PR=2.02; 95% CI: 1.26-3.23) were more likely to have conclusions that were favourable to e-cigarettes. CONCLUSIONS:One-third of the publications reporting studies on e-cigarettes did not have a COI disclosure statement, and this proportion was even higher in news articles, editorials and other types of publications. Papers with conclusions that were favourable to e-cigarette use were more likely to have COI. Journal editors and reviewers should consider evaluating publications, including funding sources, to determine whether the results and conclusions may be biased.
Project description:Objectives:Compare cigarette and smokeless tobacco (ST) perceptions within a youth population where ST use is common. Methods:Male baseball players (N = 594) at 36 rural high schools in California rated separately 20 potential risks or benefits associated with cigarettes or ST, along with global harm ratings. Informed by principal components analysis, 3 composite categories were created: oral/rule-breaking risks (eg, mouth cancer, getting in trouble), systemic risks (eg, heart attack), and benefits (eg, relaxation). Standardized composite scores and harm ratings were compared by product and by tobacco use status. Results:Cigarettes were perceived as likely to impart oral/rule-breaking risks and systemic risks, unlikely to cause benefits, and as very harmful overall. ST was perceived similarly as cigarettes regarding oral/rule-breaking risks, but less likely to cause systemic risks, and more beneficial. Most participants rated cigarettes as more harmful than ST. Similar patterns existed in all tobacco use groups, including non-users and dual-users. Conclusions:In this population, cigarettes were perceived as very harmful. ST was perceived similarly to cigarettes only for some risks and as less harmful overall. Communication for rural adolescents should consider multifaceted aspects of ST risk.
Project description:Appalachian youth tobacco use rates exceed the national average. Additional inquiry is needed to better understand youth product perceptions and use patterns. This study examined tobacco harm perceptions and their relationship with tobacco use among Appalachian youth. From 2014 to 2016, a survey of Appalachian middle and high school students (N = 1,136) was conducted. Tobacco harm perceptions were assessed by tobacco use status, categorized as never user, cigarette only user, smokeless only user, e-cigarette only user, or polytobacco user. Descriptive characteristics were compared by tobacco use status and harm perceptions. Adjusted multivariable logistic regression models assessed the relationship between tobacco use status and harm perceptions. Over one-third of participants were tobacco users (34.6%; 4.7% cigarette only users, 3.3% smokeless only users, 5.6% e-cigarette only users, and 21.0% polytobacco users). Approximately half agreed that e-cigarettes cause health problems (54.4%), and 64.7% agreed that e-cigarettes are addictive. Most participants (83.4-92.3%) agreed that smoking and smokeless tobacco cause health problems and are addictive. Tobacco users more often disagreed that tobacco products cause health problems than did never users. Compared to never users, e-cigarette only users were more likely to disagree that smoking (AOR: 2.99, 95% CI: 1.30-6.90) and e-cigarettes cause health problems (AOR: 2.79, 95% CI: 1.64-4.75) and that e-cigarettes cause addiction (AOR: 2.48, 95% CI: 1.48-4.16). Most youth were aware of health dangers associated with smoking, but perceptions were split on whether e-cigarettes were associated with health problems or addiction. The findings indicate the need for additional youth tobacco use prevention efforts.
Project description:This on-line experiment examined whether the addition of ingredient- or industry-themed warning statements in television advertisements for e-cigarettes would affect young adults' craving for and risk perceptions of e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes, as well as intent to purchase e-cigarettes.Advertisements for two leading e-cigarette brands were edited to contain a warning statement about product ingredients or about the tobacco industry. Participants were assigned randomly to one of eight treatments or one of two brand-specific control conditions without any warning statement.Young adults (n=900, aged 18-34?years) in a web panel were recruited from three groups: recent e-cigarette users, current smokers who used combustible cigarettes exclusively and non-users of either product.Craving and risk perceptions (addictiveness, harmful to health in general, harmful to others) were measured separately for e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes. The Juster scale measured intention to purchase e-cigarettes.Exposure to both types of warnings was associated with lower craving for e-cigarettes among e-cigarette users and smokers who experienced any craving (P<0.01) and lower intention to purchase among all participants (P<0.001). Only exposure to ingredient-themed warnings was associated with lower craving for combustible cigarettes (P<0.05). Participants who saw industry-themed warnings reported greater perceptions of general harm (P<0.001), but also rated e-cigarettes as less addictive than the control conditions (P<0.05).The addition of ingredient- or industry-themed warning statements to e-cigarette television advertising similarly reduces craving and purchase intent for e-cigarettes, but has inconsistent effects on perceived risks.
Project description:This paper aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the attractiveness of e-cigarettes for several different groups. For this purpose, perceptions of and reasons for e-cigarette use were systematically reviewed as reported by e-cigarette users, cigarette smokers, dual users, and non-users, among both adults and youth. MEDLINE<sup>®</sup> and Scopus were used to search for relevant articles, and references of included studies were also investigated. Two reviewers screened all titles and abstracts independently, blinded to authors and journal titles (Cohen’s Kappa = 0.83), resulting in 72 eligible articles. Risk perceptions, perceived benefits, and reasons for e-cigarette use were categorized in themes and sub-themes. Risk perceptions included harmfulness in general, and specific health risks. Perceived benefits included improved taste and smell, and safety for bystanders. Reasons for use included (health) benefits, curiosity, smoking cessation, and friends using e-cigarettes. The findings highlight that there is a variety of perceptions and reasons mentioned by adult and youth e-cigarette users, cigarette smokers, dual users, and non-users. As such, this overview provides valuable information for scientists, public health professionals, behavior change experts, and regulators to improve future research, risk communication, and possibilities to effectively regulate e-cigarettes.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Given the exponential increase in the use of e-cigarettes among younger age groups and in the growth in research on e-cigarette flavours, we conducted a systematic review examining the impact of non-menthol flavoured e-cigarettes on e-cigarette perceptions and use among youth and adults. DESIGN:PubMed, Embase, PyscINFO and CINAHL were systematically searched for studies published and indexed through March 2018. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:Quantitative observational and experimental studies that assessed the effect of non-menthol flavours in e-cigarettes on perceptions and use behaviours were included. Specific outcome measures assessed are appeal, reasons for use, risk perceptions, susceptibility, intention to try, initiation, preference, current use, quit intentions and cessation. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS:Three authors independently extracted data related to the impact of flavours in tobacco products. Data from a previous review were then combined with those from the updated review for final analysis. Results were then grouped and analysed by outcome measure. RESULTS:The review included 51 articles for synthesis, including 17 published up to 2016 and an additional 34 published between 2016 and 2018. Results indicate that non-menthol flavours in e-cigarettes decrease harm perceptions (five studies) and increase willingness to try and initiation of e-cigarettes (six studies). Among adults, e-cigarette flavours increase product appeal (seven studies) and are a primary reason many adults use the product (five studies). The role of flavoured e-cigarettes on smoking cessation remains unclear (six studies). CONCLUSION:This review provides summary data on the role of non-menthol flavours in e-cigarette perceptions and use. Consistent evidence shows that flavours attract both youth and adults to use e-cigarettes. Given the clear findings that such flavours increase product appeal, willingness to try and initiation among youth, banning non-menthol flavours in e-cigarettes may reduce youth e-cigarette use. Longitudinal research is needed to examine any role flavours may play in quit behaviours among adults.