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Cigarette and E-cigarette Use Among Smokers After a Statewide E-cigarette Sales Ban

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Objectives: Following the US outbreak of lung injury associated with e-cigarettes in 2019, Massachusetts banned all e-cigarette sales for 3 months. We assessed e-cigarette and cigarette use among adult cigarette smokers following this ban. Methods: We carried out an exploratory mixed-methods study of cigarette smokers aged 40-80 years. Using telephone surveys, we asked smokers about cigarette and e-cigarette use and e-cigarette purchases during the e-cigarette sales ban. Results: We surveyed 284 adult cigarette smokers; 8% currently used e-cigarettes. Among the 24 dual users of cigarettes and nicotine e-cigarettes during the e-cigarette sales ban, 54% quit or reduced e-cigarette use. Most dual users (71%) did not change their cigarette consumption; however, most dual users who increased cigarette smoking had quit or reduced vaping because of the ban (83%). During the ban, most participants reported purchasing e-cigarettes in-state or online. Others purchased e-cigarettes out-of-state or obtained them from family/friends. Conclusions: The total e-cigarette sales ban in Massachusetts prompted by EVALI reduced some adult cigarette smokers' access to and use of e-cigarettes. However, the ban was circumvented by individuals purchasing e-cigarettes illegally and by purchasing products legally out-of-state. These findings illustrate the challenges faced by policymakers trying to stop access to addictive products.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 2021

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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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