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

People (4)


Dr Allison Ford
Dr Allison Ford

Associate Professor, Institute for Social Marketing

Professor Gerard Hastings
Professor Gerard Hastings

Emeritus Professor, Institute for Social Marketing

Ms Anne Marie MacKintosh
Ms Anne Marie MacKintosh

Senior Researcher, Institute for Social Marketing

Professor Crawford Moodie
Professor Crawford Moodie

Professor, Institute for Social Marketing

Projects (1)

Centre for Tobacco Control Research 2015