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Associations between perceptions of e-cigarette advertising and interest in product trial amongst US adult smokers and non-smokers: results from an internet-based pilot survey.

Smith DM, et al. Tob Induc Dis. 2015.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have risen in popularity in the U.S. While recent studies have described the prevalence and demographics of e-cigarette users, few studies have evaluated the impact of advertising on perceptions and interest in trial. This pilot study was conducted to assess whether exposure to ads for e-cigarettes or a comparison product (snus), elicited differences in interest to try e-cigarettes between smokers and non-smokers.

METHODS: A web-based survey was completed by 600 respondents, aged 18-65, recruited from an internet panel in the U.S. Respondents answered questions assessing tobacco use, and then viewed nine magazine ads for Blu e-cigarettes or Camel snus, a low-nitrosamine smokeless tobacco product, in random order. After viewing each ad, respondents were asked a series of questions about their perceptions, beliefs, attitudes, and interest in trial. At the end, respondents were asked to choose a free sample product from the following options: an e-cigarette, smokeless tobacco (SLT), pack of cigarettes, or no product.

RESULTS: Ad receptivity scores did not appear to be influenced by ad theme; differences existed between smokers and non-smokers. Participants exposed to e-cigarette ads more frequently reported favorable product attitudes compared to participants exposed to snus ads. Cigarette smokers in the e-cigarette condition were more likely to report interest in trying e-cigarettes compared to non-smokers in that condition (p-value < 0.001). Six percent of non-smokers exposed to e-cigarette ads reported interest in trying e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes were the most popular product selected to sample (34 %), followed by cigarettes (8 %) and SLT (3 %); 331 respondents (55 %) chose no product. Participants randomized to the e-cigarette ad group were significantly more likely to choose an e-cigarette at product selection (p-value = 0.014). Within the e-cigarette condition, 71 % of smokers selected an e-cigarette at product selection, compared to 25 % of non-smokers; smoking status was significantly associated with sample product selection (p-value <0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that exposure to e-cigarette ads may be associated with interest in e-cigarette trial, particularly among smokers. Continued exposure to advertising in magazines, on television, and at the point-of-sale may have an impact on willingness to receive promotional products or intention to try e-cigarettes.

PMID

26180523 [PubMed]

PMCID

PMC4502389

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