Correlates of self-reported exposure to advertising of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes across 28 European Union member states

Tob Control. 2017 Dec;26(e2):e130-e133. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2016-053479. Epub 2017 Jun 12.


Background: Despite advertising bans in most European Union (EU) member states, outlets for promotion of tobacco products and especially e-cigarettes still exist. This study aimed to assess the correlates of self-reported exposure to tobacco products and e-cigarettee advertising in the EU.

Methods: We analysed data from wave 82.4 of the Eurobarometer survey (November-December 2014), collected through interviews in 28 EU member states (n=27 801 aged ≥15 years) and data on bans of tobacco advertising extracted from the Tobacco Control Scale (TCS, 2013). We used multilevel logistic regression to assess sociodemographic correlates of self-reported exposure to any tobacco and e-cigarette advertisements.

Results: 40% and 41.5% of the respondents reported having seen any e-cigarette and tobacco product advertisement respectively within the past year. Current smokers, males, younger respondents, those with financial difficulties, people who had tried e-cigarettes and daily internet users were more likely to report having seen an e-cigarette and a tobacco product advertisement. Respondents in countries with more comprehensive advertising bans were less likely to self-report exposure to any tobacco advertisements (OR 0.87; 95% CI 0.79 to 0.96 for one-unit increase in TCS advertising score), but not e-cigarette advertisements (OR 1.08; 95% CI 0.95 to 1.22).

Conclusion: Ten years after ratification of the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, self-reported exposure to tobacco and e-cigarette advertising in the EU is higher in e-cigarette and tobacco users, as well as those with internet access. The implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive may result in significant changes in e-cigarette advertising, therefore improved monitoring of advertising exposure is required in the coming years.

Keywords: Advertising and Promotion; Electronic nicotine delivery devices; Media; Non-cigarette tobacco products.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Advertising / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Advertising / statistics & numerical data*
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • European Union
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Report
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Products / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult