Background Some jurisdictions have passed legislation that bans electronic cigarette (e-cig) use (vaping) in public places similarly to smoking. Many other jurisdictions have not yet determined how to regulate vaping in public places. This study examined the proportion of current e-cig users who find their vaping restricted in public places and further evaluated factors associated with the differences between restricted and unrestricted vapers.
Methods 3960 experienced exclusive e-cig users completed an online survey from December 2012 to May 2014 about their e-cig use. Restricted vapers were defined as those who reported not being able to vape in places where smoking is typically banned. Unrestricted vapers were defined as those who reported being able vape in places where smoking is typically banned. χ2 and two-sided t-tests were used as appropriate to determine differences between variables of interest.
Results Participants were a mean age of 40.3 years, 72.0% male, 91.8% white and 85.1% were from the USA. 26.1% (n=1034) of users reported restricted vaping, while 73.9% (n=2926) reported unrestricted vaping. Restricted vapers used less frequently (p<0.001) and were less dependent compared with unrestricted vapers (p=0.001). Of the restricted vapers, only 12% (n=124) reported finding it difficult to refrain from vaping in places where they were not supposed to. These users were more dependent (p<0.001) and more likely to experience strong cravings (p<0.001), compared with users who did not find it difficult to refrain from vaping.
Conclusions This study found that most vapers report unrestricted use of their e-cig. Of the restricted vapers, the majority (88%) do not find it difficult to refrain from vaping in places where they are not supposed to vape.
- Electronic nicotine delivery devices
- Public policy
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Contributors JF conceptualised the study and assisted with the writing of the manuscript. JMY wrote the manuscript and conducted the statistical analysis. SV, EH, JF and SH assisted with the writing of the manuscript.
Funding This project was supported by the Penn State Clinical and Translational Research Institute, Pennsylvania State University CTSA (NIH/NCATS grant number UL1 TR000127). Additional support was provided by the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute and the Penn State Social Science Research Institute. JF, EH, SV, JMY and SH are primarily funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the NIH and the Center for Tobacco Products of the US Food and Drug Administration (under award umbers P50DA036107, P50DA036105). JF is also supported by research grants from the NIH-NIDA (award number R21DA038775) and Pfizer. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the views of the NIH, FDA or any other funding agency.
Competing interests JF has done paid consulting for pharmaceutical companies involved in producing smoking cessation medications, including GSK, Pfizer, Novartis, J&J and Cypress Bioscience.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval Penn State University Institutional Review Board.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.