Early evidence of the associations between an anti-e-cigarette mass media campaign and e-cigarette knowledge and attitudes: results from a cross-sectional study of youth and young adults

Elizabeth C. Hair, Jennifer M. Kreslake, Jessica Miller Rath, Lindsay Pitzer, Morgane Bennett, Donna Vallone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective Antismoking mass media campaigns have contributed to significant declines in combustible tobacco use among young people. This study evaluates a national anti-e-cigarette campaign to determine its association with knowledge, attitudes and beliefs in the context of increasing e-cigarette use in the USA. Methods A national sample of respondents aged 15-24 years (n=8421) was drawn from a repeated cross-sectional online panel survey (220 participants/week) (October 2018 to December 2019). Self-reported exposure to the truth anti-e-cigarette campaign was measured according to level of ad awareness. Outcomes were subjective knowledge of campaign-targeted facts about e-cigarettes and attitudinal constructs about perceived e-cigarette harm, social unacceptability and anti-industry sentiments. Covariates included respondent demographics, current e-cigarette use and cigarette use, parental smoking, sensation seeking, mental health and growth in e-cigarette sales. Results Ad awareness was associated with knowledge that e-cigarette users are more likely to start smoking (low OR: 1.28, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.44; high OR: 1.88, 95% CI 1.66 to 2.13) and of the nicotine content of JUUL compared with cigarettes (low OR: 1.63, 95% CI 1.45 to 1.82; high OR: 2.50, 95% CI 2.21 to 2.84). High ad awareness was associated with knowledge that the long-term health effects of JUUL use are unknown (OR: 1.88, 95% CI 1.57 to 2.28). High ad awareness was associated with significantly higher perceived product harm (OR: 1.35, 95% CI 1.18 to 1.54), social unacceptability (OR: 1.32, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.53) and anti-industry attitudes (OR: 1.40, 95% CI 1.21 to 1.62), compared with respondents with no awareness. Conclusions Young people with awareness of anti-e-cigarette ads demonstrate higher levels of campaign-targeted knowledge, attitudes and beliefs. Future campaign evaluation priorities include measuring the campaign effects on e-cigarette use behaviours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-187
Number of pages9
JournalTobacco control
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • denormalisation
  • electronic nicotine delivery devices
  • social marketing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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