Article Text

Wanna know about vaping? Patterns of message exposure, seeking and sharing information about e-cigarettes across media platforms
  1. Sherry L Emery1,
  2. Lisa Vera2,
  3. Jidong Huang1,
  4. Glen Szczypka1
  1. 1Health Media Collaboratory, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  2. 2Moores Cancer Center, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sherry L Emery, Health Media Collaboratory, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1747 West Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60608, USA; slemery{at}


Background Awareness and use of electronic cigarettes has rapidly grown in the USA recently, in step with increased product marketing. Using responses to a population survey of US adults, we analysed demographic patterns of exposure to, searching for and sharing of e-cigarette-related information across media platforms.

Methods An online survey of 17 522 US adults was conducted in 2013. The nationally representative sample was drawn from GfK Group's KnowledgePanel plus off-panel recruitment. Fixed effects logit models were applied to analyse relationships between exposure to, searching for and sharing of e-cigarette-related information and demographic characteristics, e-cigarette and tobacco use, and media behaviours.

Results High levels of awareness about e-cigarettes were indicated (86% aware; 47% heard through media channels). Exposure to e-cigarette-related information was associated with tobacco use, age, gender, more education, social media use and time spent online. Although relatively small proportions of the sample had searched for (∼5%) or shared (∼2%) e-cigarette information, our analyses indicated demographic patterns to those behaviours. Gender, high income and using social media were associated with searching for e-cigarette information; lesbian, gay and bisexual and less education were associated with sharing. Current tobacco use, age, being Hispanic and time spent online were associated with both searching and sharing.

Conclusions US adults are widely exposed to e-cigarette marketing through the media; such marketing may differentially target specific demographic groups. Further research should longitudinally examine how exposure to, searching for and sharing of e-cigarette information relate to subsequent use of e-cigarettes and/or combustible tobacco.

  • Electronic nicotine delivery devices
  • Media
  • Advertising and Promotion

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from

Supplementary materials

  • Supplementary Data

    This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.

    Files in this Data Supplement:

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.