Support for e-cigarette regulations among Australian young adults

Michelle I. Jongenelis, Caitlin Kameron, Daniel Rudaizky, Simone Pettigrew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Surveying support for various regulatory options relating to e-cigarettes can assist policymakers to identify those that have broad support and are therefore likely to be easier to implement. However, data on support for potential e-cigarette regulations in Australia are limited. To inform regulatory efforts, the present study assessed attitudes to the regulation of e-cigarettes among Australian young adults, the most prevalent users of e-cigarettes and therefore the most likely population segment to be affected by e-cigarette regulations. Methods: A total of 1116 Australians aged 18 to 25 years (59% female) completed an online survey where they were presented with various statements relating to the regulation of e-cigarettes and asked to report on the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with each. Statements presented either a restrictive or non-restrictive approach to e-cigarette regulation. Results: Across all statements, 10-22% of respondents responded "don't know" while 23-35% neither agreed nor disagreed, indicating general ambivalence. There was a moderate level of support (33-37%) for regulating e-cigarette sales/use and treating e-cigarettes like tobacco products. Only 20% of respondents were in favour of allowing the use of e-cigarettes in smoke-free areas. Smokers, e-cigarette users, and those who did not believe in the harms associated with e-cigarettes were typically less likely than other respondents to support restrictive approaches. Conclusions: The young Australian adults surveyed were somewhat supportive of restrictions around the sale and use of e-cigarettes, but generally opposed outright bans and any need for a prescription from a medical practitioner. Increasing awareness of the harms associated with the use of e-cigarettes represents a potential strategy to gaining regulatory support.

Original languageEnglish
Article number67
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019

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Jongenelis, Michelle I. ; Kameron, Caitlin ; Rudaizky, Daniel ; Pettigrew, Simone. / Support for e-cigarette regulations among Australian young adults. In: BMC Public Health. 2019 ; Vol. 19, No. 1.
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Support for e-cigarette regulations among Australian young adults. / Jongenelis, Michelle I.; Kameron, Caitlin; Rudaizky, Daniel; Pettigrew, Simone.

In: BMC Public Health, Vol. 19, No. 1, 67, 15.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Support for e-cigarette regulations among Australian young adults

AU - Jongenelis, Michelle I.

AU - Kameron, Caitlin

AU - Rudaizky, Daniel

AU - Pettigrew, Simone

PY - 2019/1/15

Y1 - 2019/1/15

N2 - Background: Surveying support for various regulatory options relating to e-cigarettes can assist policymakers to identify those that have broad support and are therefore likely to be easier to implement. However, data on support for potential e-cigarette regulations in Australia are limited. To inform regulatory efforts, the present study assessed attitudes to the regulation of e-cigarettes among Australian young adults, the most prevalent users of e-cigarettes and therefore the most likely population segment to be affected by e-cigarette regulations. Methods: A total of 1116 Australians aged 18 to 25 years (59% female) completed an online survey where they were presented with various statements relating to the regulation of e-cigarettes and asked to report on the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with each. Statements presented either a restrictive or non-restrictive approach to e-cigarette regulation. Results: Across all statements, 10-22% of respondents responded "don't know" while 23-35% neither agreed nor disagreed, indicating general ambivalence. There was a moderate level of support (33-37%) for regulating e-cigarette sales/use and treating e-cigarettes like tobacco products. Only 20% of respondents were in favour of allowing the use of e-cigarettes in smoke-free areas. Smokers, e-cigarette users, and those who did not believe in the harms associated with e-cigarettes were typically less likely than other respondents to support restrictive approaches. Conclusions: The young Australian adults surveyed were somewhat supportive of restrictions around the sale and use of e-cigarettes, but generally opposed outright bans and any need for a prescription from a medical practitioner. Increasing awareness of the harms associated with the use of e-cigarettes represents a potential strategy to gaining regulatory support.

AB - Background: Surveying support for various regulatory options relating to e-cigarettes can assist policymakers to identify those that have broad support and are therefore likely to be easier to implement. However, data on support for potential e-cigarette regulations in Australia are limited. To inform regulatory efforts, the present study assessed attitudes to the regulation of e-cigarettes among Australian young adults, the most prevalent users of e-cigarettes and therefore the most likely population segment to be affected by e-cigarette regulations. Methods: A total of 1116 Australians aged 18 to 25 years (59% female) completed an online survey where they were presented with various statements relating to the regulation of e-cigarettes and asked to report on the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with each. Statements presented either a restrictive or non-restrictive approach to e-cigarette regulation. Results: Across all statements, 10-22% of respondents responded "don't know" while 23-35% neither agreed nor disagreed, indicating general ambivalence. There was a moderate level of support (33-37%) for regulating e-cigarette sales/use and treating e-cigarettes like tobacco products. Only 20% of respondents were in favour of allowing the use of e-cigarettes in smoke-free areas. Smokers, e-cigarette users, and those who did not believe in the harms associated with e-cigarettes were typically less likely than other respondents to support restrictive approaches. Conclusions: The young Australian adults surveyed were somewhat supportive of restrictions around the sale and use of e-cigarettes, but generally opposed outright bans and any need for a prescription from a medical practitioner. Increasing awareness of the harms associated with the use of e-cigarettes represents a potential strategy to gaining regulatory support.

KW - E-cigarettes

KW - Harms

KW - Policy

KW - Regulation

KW - Young adults

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U2 - 10.1186/s12889-019-6410-4

DO - 10.1186/s12889-019-6410-4

M3 - Article

VL - 19

JO - BMC Public Helath

JF - BMC Public Helath

SN - 1471-2458

IS - 1

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ER -