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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 Nov 1;192:257-263. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.08.016. Epub 2018 Oct 2.

Harm perceptions of electronic cigarettes and nicotine: A nationally representative cross-sectional survey of young people in Great Britain.

Author information

1
National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, 4 Windsor Walk, Denmark Hill, SE5 8BB, London, UK; UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, University of Nottingham, NG5 1PB, Nottingham, UK. Electronic address: katherine.east@kcl.ac.uk.
2
National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, 4 Windsor Walk, Denmark Hill, SE5 8BB, London, UK; UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, University of Nottingham, NG5 1PB, Nottingham, UK. Electronic address: leonie.brose@kcl.ac.uk.
3
National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, 4 Windsor Walk, Denmark Hill, SE5 8BB, London, UK; UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, University of Nottingham, NG5 1PB, Nottingham, UK. Electronic address: ann.mcneill@kcl.ac.uk.
4
Action on Smoking and Health UK, 6th floor, Suites 59-63, New House, 67-68 Hatton Garden, EC1N 8JY, London, UK. Electronic address: hazel.cheeseman@ash.org.uk.
5
Action on Smoking and Health UK, 6th floor, Suites 59-63, New House, 67-68 Hatton Garden, EC1N 8JY, London, UK. Electronic address: deborah.arnott@ash.org.uk.
6
National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, 4 Windsor Walk, Denmark Hill, SE5 8BB, London, UK; UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, University of Nottingham, NG5 1PB, Nottingham, UK. Electronic address: sara.hitchman@kcl.ac.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

E-cigarettes often contain nicotine without the most harmful constituents of tobacco smoke.

AIMS:

This study aims to assess prevalence and correlates of accurately perceiving e-cigarettes as less harmful than cigarettes and that none or a small amount of the harm from smoking comes from nicotine.

METHODS:

Cross-sectional survey of 2,103 11-18-year-olds in Great Britain in 2016. Prevalence of e-cigarette and nicotine harm perceptions were calculated. Logistic regressions assessed associations between accurate e-cigarette and nicotine harm perceptions and smoking, e-cigarette use, gender, age, region, social grade, family smoking, family e-cigarette use, smoking friends, public approval of smoking, and public approval of e-cigarettes. Associations between accurate e-cigarette and nicotine harm perceptions were also assessed.

RESULTS:

Most (63.4%) accurate e-cigarette harm perceptions were higher among those aged 16+ (OR = 1.89 [95%CI = 1.45-2.47]), 14-15 (OR = 1.29 [1.00-1.65]), who tried/used an e-cigarette sometimes (OR = 1.51 [1.03-2.21]), with family e-cigarette use (OR = 2.11 [1.46-3.04]), who perceived public disapproval of smoking (OR = 2.11 [1.18-3.77]) and approval of e-cigarettes (OR = 2.44 [1.73-3.45]), and with accurate nicotine harm perceptions (OR = 2.05 [1.28-3.28]). Accurate nicotine harm perceptions were higher among those aged 16+ (OR = 2.60 [1.62-4.16]), from North England (OR = 1.87 [1.02-3.43]) and Wales/Scotland (OR = 2.61 [1.35-5.03]) vs. London, with family smoking (OR = 1.59 [1.05-2.42]), and with accurate e-cigarette harm perceptions (OR = 2.12 [1.32-3.41]).

CONCLUSIONS:

Many young people have inaccurate harm perceptions of e-cigarettes and nicotine. Accurate e-cigarette and nicotine harm perceptions were associated with one another. E-cigarette use was associated with accurate e-cigarette but not nicotine harm perceptions; smoking was not associated with either.

KEYWORDS:

Electronic cigarette; Harm perception; Nicotine; Smoking; Tobacco; Youth

PMID:
30300799
PMCID:
PMC6204576
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.08.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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