Opinions about electronic cigarette use in smoke-free areas among U.S. Adults, 2012

Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 Jun;17(6):675-81. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu235. Epub 2014 Oct 30.


Introduction: In the United States, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are currently unregulated, extensively marketed, and experiencing a rapid increase in use. The purpose of this study was to examine the opinions of U.S. adults about e-cigarette use in smoke-free public areas.

Methods: Data were obtained from the online HealthStyle survey administered to a probability sample of a nationally representative online panel. The study included 4,043U.S. adults, aged 18 years or older who responded to this question, "Do you think e-cigarette should be allowed to be used in public areas where tobacco smoking is prohibited?" Multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to examine opinions on e-cigarette use in smoke-free areas by sex, age, race/ethnicity, household income, education, census region, and cigarette smoking status and e-cigarette awareness and ever use.

Results: Overall, about 40% of adults were uncertain whether e-cigarettes should be allowed in smoke-free areas, 37% opposed, while 23% favored their use in smoke-free public places. Multinomial logistic regression analyses showed that adults who were aware, ever used e-cigarettes, and current cigarette smokers were more likely to express an "in favor" opinion than adults who expressed an uncertain opinion (don't know).

Conclusion: Over 75% of U.S. adults reported uncertainty or disapproval of the use of e-cigarettes in smoke-free areas. Current cigarette smokers, adults aware or have ever used e-cigarettes were more supportive to exempting e-cigarettes from smoking restrictions. With impending regulation and the changing e-cigarette landscape, continued monitoring and research on public opinions about e-cigarette use in smoke-free places are needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude*
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Opinion*
  • Smoke-Free Policy*
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Smoking*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Young Adult