Attitudes towards electronic cigarettes regulation in indoor workplaces and selected public and private places: a population-based cross-sectional study

PLoS One. 2014 Dec 3;9(12):e114256. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114256. eCollection 2014.


Background: Currently, there is an intensive debate about the regulation of the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in indoor places. The aim of this study was to assess the attitudes toward e-cigarette use in indoor workplaces and selected public and private venues among the general population in Barcelona (Spain) in 2013-2014.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of a representative sample of the population of Barcelona (n = 736). The field work was conducted between May 2013 and February 2014. We computed the prevalence and the adjusted odds ratios (OR) derived from multivariable logistic regression models.

Results: The awareness of e-cigarettes was 82.3%. Forty five percent of respondents did not agree with the use of e-cigarettes in public places and 52.3% in workplaces. The proportion of disapproval of the use of e-cigarettes in indoor places was higher at 71.5% for schools and 65.8% for hospitals and health care centers; while the prevalence of disapproval of e-cigarette use in homes and cars was lower (18.0% and 32.5%, respectively). Respondents who disagreed on the use of e-cigarettes in indoor workplaces were more likely to be older (OR = 1.64 and 1.97 for groups 45-64 and ≧65 years old, respectively), those with a high educational level (OR = 1.60), and never and former smokers (OR = 2.34 and 2.16, respectively). Increased scores in the Fagerström test for cigarette dependence were also related to increased support for their use.

Conclusions: Based on this population based study, half of the general population of Barcelona does not support the use of e-cigarettes in indoor workplaces and public places, with the percentage reaching 65% for use in schools, hospitals and health care centers. Consequently, there is good societal support in Spain for the politicians and legislators to promote policies restricting e-cigarettes use in workplaces and public places, including hospitality venues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude
  • Cities
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Public Opinion
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Spain
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution

Grant support

This project was funded by Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Government of Spain (RTICC RD06/0020/0089, RD12/0036/0053, BAE 14/00014, and PI12/01114), and Ministry of Universities and Research, Government of Catalonia (grant 2014SGR999). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.