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Correlates of self-reported exposure to advertising of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes across 28 European Union member states


Background Despite advertising bans in most European Union (EU) member states, outlets for promotion of tobacco products and especially e-cigarettes still exist. This study aimed to assess the correlates of self-reported exposure to tobacco products and e-cigarettee advertising in the EU.

Methods We analysed data from wave 82.4 of the Eurobarometer survey (November–December 2014), collected through interviews in 28 EU member states (n=27 801 aged ≥15 years) and data on bans of tobacco advertising extracted from the Tobacco Control Scale (TCS, 2013). We used multilevel logistic regression to assess sociodemographic correlates of self-reported exposure to any tobacco and e-cigarette advertisements.

Results 40% and 41.5% of the respondents reported having seen any e-cigarette and tobacco product advertisement respectively within the past year. Current smokers, males, younger respondents, those with financial difficulties, people who had tried e-cigarettes and daily internet users were more likely to report having seen an e-cigarette and a tobacco product advertisement. Respondents in countries with more comprehensive advertising bans were less likely to self-report exposure to any tobacco advertisements (OR 0.87; 95% CI 0.79 to 0.96 for one-unit increase in TCS advertising score), but not e-cigarette advertisements (OR 1.08; 95% CI 0.95 to 1.22).

Conclusion Ten years after ratification of the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, self-reported exposure to tobacco and e-cigarette advertising in the EU is higher in e-cigarette and tobacco users, as well as those with internet access. The implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive may result in significant changes in e-cigarette advertising, therefore improved monitoring of advertising exposure is required in the coming years.

  • Electronic nicotine delivery devices
  • Advertising and Promotion
  • Non-cigarette tobacco products
  • Media

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  • Contributors FTF had the main role in data analysis. FTF, AAL and EF had the main role in manuscript preparation. All authors contributed to data interpretation and manuscript preparation. FTF is responsible for the overall content.

  • Funding This work was supported by a grant from theEuropean Commission (Horizon2020 HCO-6-2015; EUREST-PLUS: 681109; Vardavas). EFwas partly supported by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III of the Government ofSpain and the European Regional Development Fund, ERDF (RTICC RD12/0036/0053)and the Department of Universities and Research, Government of Catalonia (2014SGR999).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Data were freely available and de-identified,thus no ethical approval was required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The data set supporting the conclusions of this article is freely available online, doi:10.4232/1.12265 in

  • Correction notice This paper has been amended since it was published Online First. Owing to a scripting error, some of the publisher names in the references were replaced with 'BMJ Publishing Group'. This only affected the full text version, not the PDF. We have since corrected these errors and the correct publishers have been inserted into the references. The Funding statement has been added back into the paper.

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