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Awareness and use of e-cigarettes have increased rapidly, and the products now represent a billion-dollar industry in the USA.1 ,2 Public health concerns about e-cigarettes centre on their potential appeal to the youth market,3 limited scientific evidence regarding their impact on individual and population health,4 and inconsistent product standards, including variations in nicotine content within and across brands.5–7 While some US cities have extended public smoking bans to cover e-cigarettes or taken other restrictive measures,8 ,9 the products remain unregulated at the federal level. Globally, there is significant variation in how products are treated, with some countries including Canada and Australia taking a more restrictive approach.10 A recent proliferation of e-cigarette marketing—including ads in media where traditional tobacco advertising has long been prohibited, such as television1—likely plays a key role in the exponential growth of the products’ popularity. With some exceptions,11 ,12 reports of e-cigarette marketing to-date have been mainly anecdotal; surveillance and tracking of the quantity and content of such marketing is much needed.
The goal of this Industry …
Contributors Conceived and designed the study: SLE, JH, RK, LV; acquired and managed the data: RK, SLE; analysed the data: RK, JH, SLE; wrote the paper: RK, JH, LV; supervised the research: SLE
Funding This work was supported by the National Cancer Institute grant number U01CA154254 and by the National Institutes of Health grant number P50-CA-179546-01. The funding bodies did not play any role in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. The opinions expressed here are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of the sponsors.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.