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expert reaction to study on e-cig advertising

A paper published in the journal Tobacco Control has reported that exposure to e-cigarette adverts could lower the perceived health risks of occasional tobacco use.


Prof. Linda Bauld, Director of the Institute for Social Marketing at the University of Stirling, said:

“The appearance of e-cigarette adverts in broadcast and print media has raised concerns that as e-cigarette use mimics some of the act of smoking, children would be more likely to try not just e-cigarettes but also tobacco cigarettes. This study provides some evidence that e-cigarette ads do not increase the appeal of tobacco, which is reassuring. This is consistent with the continued reductions in the UK in the number of children smoking, including in recent years as e-cigarette advertising has grown.

The findings in relation to seeing an e-cigarette advert and thinking occasional smoking is acceptable are interesting but this study did not measure behaviour and there is no evidence that even occasional rates of smoking are rising amongst children in the UK. In addition, since the study was conducted all forms of broadcast advertising of e-cigarettes have been banned and additional regulations in Scotland will also ban all ads in print media. These study results are interesting but their relevance given current policies in the UK may be limited.”


‘What is the impact of e-cigarette adverts on children’s perceptions of tobacco smoking? An experimental study’ by D Petrescu et al published in Tobacco Control on Tuesday 6 September 2016. 


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