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Nicotine and E-cigarette Beliefs and Policy Support among US Smokers and Nonsmokers

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Objectives: In light of the Food and Drug Administration's intention to regulate e-cigarettes, we examined the perceived harm of nicotine and e-cigarette use and the role of these beliefs on support for e-cigarette policies. Methods: A nationally representative sample of US adults (N = 1008) was drawn in January 2016 from the online probability-based panel AmeriSpeak, which covers over 99% of US households. Results: Whereas perception of harm associated with e-cigarettes was significantly lower for smokers than for nonsmokers, most respondents (80%), regardless of current smoking status, believed that nicotine is the primary disease-causing agent in tobacco products (nicotine harm perception). In multivariable analyses, believing that e-cigarettes were more harmful was associated with greater support for bans on indoor e-cigarette use, use in cars with children present, and a ban on e-cigarette sales to minors. As beliefs about e-cigarette harm increased, there was less support for a differentiated tax structure for e-cigarettes relative to combustible cigarettes. Conclusions: Beliefs that e-cigarettes are harmful to health are positively correlated with support for policies to minimize e-cigarette use.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 2017

More about this publication?
  • 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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