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Support for e-cigarette policies: a survey of smokers and ex-smokers in Great Britain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e7-e15
JournalTobacco Control
Issue numbere1
Early online date16 Jun 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jun 2016


King's Authors


INTRODUCTION: E-cigarette regulations are the topic of extensive debate. Approaches vary worldwide, and limited evidence is available on public support for specific policies or what influences support. The present study aimed to assess smokers' and ex-smokers' support for 3 e-cigarette policies: (1) equal or higher availability relative to cigarettes, (2) advertising, (3) use in smoke-free places, and to assess changes in support over time and associations with respondent characteristics.

METHODS: Smokers and ex-smokers (n=1848) provided 3279 observations over 2 waves (2013 and 2014) of a longitudinal web-based survey in Great Britain. Multivariable logistic regressions fitted using generalised estimating equations assessed change in policy support over time, and associations between support and demographics (age, gender and income), smoking and e-cigarette use status, nicotine knowledge and perceived relative harm.

RESULTS: Equal or higher relative availability was supported by 79% in 2013 and 76% in 2014; advertising by 66% and 56%, respectively; neither change was significant in adjusted analyses. Support for use in smoke-free places decreased significantly from 55% to 45%. Compared with ex-smokers, smokers were more likely to support advertising and use in smoke-free places. Respondents using e-cigarettes, those who perceived e-cigarettes as less harmful than cigarettes, and those with more accurate knowledge about nicotine were more likely to support all 3 policies.

CONCLUSIONS: Less restrictive e-cigarette policies were more likely to be supported by e-cigarette users, and respondents who perceived e-cigarettes to be less harmful than cigarettes, or knew that nicotine was not a main cause of harm to health.

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