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Prev Med. 2019 Feb 4;121:7-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.01.013. [Epub ahead of print]

Youth and young adult exposure to and perceptions of news media coverage about e-cigarettes in the United States, Canada and England.

Author information

1
Center for Tobacco Studies, Rutgers School of Public Health, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA. Electronic address: wackowol@sph.rutgers.edu.
2
Center for Tobacco Studies, Rutgers School of Public Health, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA. Electronic address: js2486@sph.rutgers.edu.
3
School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada. Electronic address: dhammond@uwaterloo.ca.

Abstract

News media coverage has the potential to shape awareness and perceptions of e-cigarettes, but little is known about youth and young adult exposure to e-cigarette news. We analyzed news exposure measures on Wave 1 of the ITC Youth Tobacco and E-cigarette Survey, conducted in Canada, England, and the U.S. Web-based surveys were completed by 16-19-year-olds in July/August 2017 (n = 12,064). The prevalence of exposure to e-cigarette news and its perceived valence is provided. Logistic regression was used to model the odds of news exposure, and the association between news exposure and e-cigarette harm perceptions, susceptibility, and quitting intentions. Overall, 17.1% of young people reported hearing or seeing e-cigarette news at least 'sometimes' in the past 30 days. The majority of those exposed (n = 2052) perceived the content of the news stories to be mostly negative (35.7%) or mixed (34.8%) about e-cigarettes, versus mostly positive (19%). Perceived exposure to mostly negative e-cigarette stories was lower among past 30-day e-cigarette users and youth in England. Participants exposed to mostly negative e-cigarette news were more likely to perceive that e-cigarettes cause at least some harm and, among past 30 day users, have intentions to quit e-cigarettes in the next month. Exposure to mostly positive news was associated with higher odds of e-cigarette susceptibility among never triers. Young people report exposure to e-cigarette news with varied perceptions of its valence. E-cigarette news exposure may shape e-cigarette harm perceptions and use intentions, as well as reflect existing beliefs and product interest.

KEYWORDS:

E-cigarettes; N; News; Young adults; Youth

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