Receptivity to e-cigarette marketing, harm perceptions, and e-cigarette use

Am J Health Behav. 2015 Jan;39(1):121-31. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.39.1.13.


Objective: To test whether exposure and receptivity to e-cigarette marketing are associated with recent e-cigarette use among young adults through increased beliefs that e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes.

Methods: Data were collected from 307 multiethnic 4- and 2-year college students; approximately equal proportions of current, never, and former cigarette smokers [mean age = 23.5 (SD = 5.5); 65% female].

Results: Higher receptivity to e-cigarette marketing was associated with perceptions that e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes, which in turn, were associated with higher recent e-cigarette use.

Conclusions: The findings provide preliminary support to the proposition that marketing of e-cigarettes as safer alternatives to cigarettes or cessation aids is associated with increased e-cigarette use among young adults. The findings have implications for development of e-cigarette regulations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / adverse effects
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / psychology*
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marketing*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Young Adult