Adolescents’ responses to the promotion and flavouring of e-cigarettes


Ford A, MacKintosh AM, Bauld L, Moodie C & Hastings G (2016) Adolescents’ responses to the promotion and flavouring of e-cigarettes. International Journal of Public Health, 61 (2), pp. 215-224.

Objectives  The purpose of the study is to examine adolescents’ awareness of e-cigarette marketing and investigate the impact of e-cigarette flavour descriptors on perceptions of product harm and user image.  Methods  Data come from the 2014 Youth Tobacco Policy Survey, a cross-sectional in-home survey conducted with 11–16year olds across the UK (n=1205). Adolescents’ awareness of e-cigarette promotion, brands, and flavours was assessed. Perceptions of product harm, and likely user of four examples of e-cigarette flavours was also examined.  Results  Some participants had tried e-cigarettes (12%) but regular use was low (2%) and confined to adolescents who had also smoked tobacco. Most were aware of at least one promotional channel (82%) and that e-cigarettes came in different flavours (69%). Brand awareness was low. E-cigarettes were perceived as harmful (M=3.54, SD=1.19) but this was moderated by product flavours. Fruit and sweet flavours were perceived as more likely to be tried by young never smokers than adult smokers trying to quit (p<0.001).  Conclusions  There is a need to monitor the impact of future market and regulatory change on youth uptake and perceptions of e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes; E-cigarette use; Adolescents; Marketing; Promotion; Flavours

International Journal of Public Health: Volume 61, Issue 2

FundersCancer Research UK
Publication date31/03/2016
Publication date online09/12/2015
Date accepted by journal17/11/2015