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Vaping in a heavily regulated setting: cross-sectional survey of e-cigarette use, perceptions and social media exposure
  1. Lionel Ng,
  2. Xian Yi Ng,
  3. Yvette van der Eijk
  1. Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yvette van der Eijk, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore; yvette.eijk{at}


Background Singapore has completely banned e-cigarettes and the government’s cautious stance against vaping has been consistent. Despite this, vaping appears to have gained popularity in Singapore, especially among younger people. With the heavy marketing of vaping products on social media, it is possible that such marketing, due to its cross-border nature, is reaching younger Singaporeans and driving changes in vaping-related perceptions or behaviours. This study examines their exposure to vaping-related content on social media, and whether such exposure is associated with more positive perceptions of vaping or e-cigarette ever use.

Methods Analysis of cross-sectional survey data of 550 adult (age 21–40 years) Singaporeans recruited via convenience methods in May 2022, using descriptive statistics, bivariate analyses, and multiple linear and logistic regression models.

Results 16.9% of participants reported they had ever used e-cigarettes. 18.5% of those who used social media recalled seeing vaping-related content on a social media platform in the past 6 months, mostly from influencers or friends, and on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and/or YouTube. Reporting exposure to such content was not associated with e-cigarette ever use. It was associated with having a more positive overall perception of vaping (β=1.47; 95% CI: 0.17 to 2.78), although no significant difference was observed when examining only health-related perceptions.

Conclusion Even in a heavily regulated environment such as Singapore’s, people appear to be exposed to vaping-related content on social media platforms and this exposure is, in turn, associated with more positive perceptions of vaping, but not e-cigarette ever use.

  • Advertising and Promotion
  • Electronic nicotine delivery devices
  • Harm Reduction
  • Priority/special populations
  • Social marketing

Data availability statement

No data are available.

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  • Contributors LN: data analysis and writing. XYN: data analysis. YvdE: study conceptualisation, data analysis and writing. All authors reviewed and approved the final draft before submission. YvdE is the guarantor.

  • Funding This work was supported by a Tier 1 Academic Research Fund from the Singapore Ministry of Education (grant number A-8000238-00-00).

  • Competing interests None declared.

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

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.