New research papers address state and community tobacco control policies related to e-cigarettes

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.— A new series of research papers presents key findings on the marketing and use of electronic nicotine delivery systems to help guide state and community tobacco control policies and practices. The papers were produced by investigators in the State and Community Tobacco Control (SCTC) Research Initiative funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute.

The series, titled "Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS): New Evidence from the State and Community Tobacco Control Research Initiative," is published as a special supplement in the July 2014 issue of Tobacco Control released online June 16. 

"This supplement fills an immediate need for high-quality scientific data to support development and implementation of effective public health responses to a rapidly evolving tobacco product environment," said Todd Rogers, Ph.D., senior scientist in the public health policy research program at RTI International and co-investigator of the SCTC coordinating center.    

The supplement includes nine articles that address marketing of electronic nicotine delivery systems through the Internet, social media, and at the point of sale; the patterns and reasons for e-cigarette use; and the impact of price and other tobacco control policies on e-cigarette demand. 

The SCTC consists of seven research projects and a coordinating center that studies secondhand smoke policies, tax and pricing policies, mass media countermeasures, community and social norms, and tobacco industry marketing and promotion. RTI serves as the coordinating center for the initiative by facilitating cross-research opportunities, evaluating the initiative, and disseminating the research findings to key stakeholders, including states and communities.

"This initiative addresses high-priority gaps in state and community tobacco control research to inform local-level policies and practices related to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems," Rogers said. "These research papers contribute to the growing evidence base regarding e-cigarette marketing, use and impact in the U.S. that supports regulatory actions proposed by the Food and Drug Administration."

The supplement is designed for public health practitioners, researchers, advocates, and federal, state and local policy makers. 

Key findings from the research papers include the following:

  • Hundreds of e-cigarette brands are being marketed on the Internet
  • Demographic groups differ in searching, sharing, and exposure to e-cigarette related information across media platforms 
  • Twitter is being used for commercial e-cigarette marketing, which may have important public health implications
  • E-cigarette sales are affected by price changes 
  • Online e-cigarette ad messages may stimulate a smoker's interest to try e-cigarettes, posing implications for advertising restrictions
  • State laws and other regulations that restrict and regulate e-cigarette-related products vary widely
  • High rates of e-cigarette use were found among by individuals with mental health conditions

For more information about the SCTC initiative, visit http://www.sctcresearch.org.

Highlights

  • A new series of research papers presents key findings on the marketing and use of electronic nicotine delivery systems to help guide state and community tobacco control policies and practices
  • The papers were produced by investigators in the State and Community Tobacco Control (SCTC) Research Initiative
  • RTI serves as the coordinating center for the initiative