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Open Access Internet-based Advertising Claims and Consumer Reasons for Using Electronic Cigarettes by Device Type in the US

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Objectives: Important differences exist between closed-system and open-system e-cigarettes, but it is unknown whether online companies are marketing these devices differently and whether consumer reasons for using e-cigarettes vary by device type. This paper compares Internetbased advertising claims of closed- versus open-system products, and evaluates US consumers' reasons for using closed- versus open-system e-cigarettes. Methods: Internet sites selling exclusively closed (N = 130) or open (N = 129) e-cigarettes in December 2013-January 2014 were coded for advertising claims. Current users (>18 years old) of exclusively closed or open e-cigarettes (N = 860) in a nationally representative online survey in February-March 2014 provided their main reason for using e-cigarettes. Results: Internet sites that exclusively sold closed-system e-cigarettes were more likely to make cigarette-related claims such as e-cigarettes being healthier and cheaper than cigarettes (ps < .0001) compared to sites selling open systems. Many sites implied their products could help smokers quit. Exclusive users of both systems endorsed cessation as their top reason. Closed-system users were more likely to report their reason as "use where smoking is banned." Conclusions: Although promotion of e-cigarettes as cessation aids is prohibited, consumers of both systems endorsed smoking cessation as their top reason for using e-cigarettes.

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Keywords: ELECTRONIC NICOTINE DELIVERY SYSTEM; ENDS; FIRST GENERATION; MARKETING; SECOND OR THIRD GENERATION ENDS; VAPING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-10-01

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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