E-cigarette Marketing Exposure and Subsequent Experimentation Among Youth and Young Adults

Pediatrics. 2019 Nov;144(5):e20191119. doi: 10.1542/peds.2019-1119.


Objectives: Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use has become increasingly prevalent among US youth and young adults in recent years. Exposure to e-cigarette marketing may stimulate e-cigarette use. In this study, we estimated the longitudinal association between e-cigarette marketing exposure and e-cigarette experimentation among US youth and young adult never tobacco users.

Methods: The analysis included nationally representative samples of youth (ages 12-17; n = 8121) and young adult (ages 18-24; n = 1683) never tobacco users from wave 2 (2014-2015) and wave 3 (2015-2016) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study. In the study, researchers measured past-month exposure to e-cigarette marketing through various places (eg, Web sites and events) at wave 2 and e-cigarette experimentation at wave 3. Statistical analysis included multivariable regressions to examine the associations between wave 2 e-cigarette marketing exposure and wave 3 e-cigarette experimentation.

Results: At wave 2, 70.7% of youth and 73.9% of young adult never tobacco users reported past-month exposure to e-cigarette marketing; at wave 3, 4.9% and 4.5% of youth and young adults experimented with e-cigarettes, respectively. Youth and young adults exposed to e-cigarette marketing at wave 2 were more likely (adjusted odds ratio = 1.53, 95% confidence interval = 1.07-2.17; and adjusted odds ratio = 2.73, 95% confidence interval = 1.16-6.42, respectively) to have experimented with e-cigarettes at wave 3 than those not exposed. Marketing exposure through each place at wave 2 was associated with e-cigarette experimentation at wave 3.

Conclusions: E-cigarette marketing exposure predicted subsequent e-cigarette experimentation among youth and young adult never tobacco users. Increased restrictions on marketing through various channels may help minimize their exposure to e-cigarette marketing messages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marketing*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vaping / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult