Introduction: Parents are essential stakeholders for policy implementation. However, data on parents' support for e-cigarette- and tobacco-related policies is limited. This study examines parents' support for five e-cigarette- and tobacco-related policies targeted to prevent youth initiation and exposure to industry marketing practices.
Methods: Data were from a 2018 nationally representative sample of US parents of 11- to 18-year-old middle and high school students. Weighted adjusted logistic regression models examined correlates of support for policy outcomes, controlling for demographics. Analyses were performed among the full sample (n = 2743) and among current tobacco users (n = 355).
Results: The majority of parents, including current tobacco users, supported tobacco control efforts to protect adolescents. More than 90% of all parents supported restrictions on e-cigarette marketing to youth and 75% supported a ban on flavored e-cigarette sales. Additionally, more than 80% of all parents supported increasing the age of tobacco product sale to 21, limiting tobacco retailer density near schools, and keeping tobacco products out of view where youth shop. Presence of strict home tobacco rules or reporting a high priority to prevent child's e-cigarette use were significantly associated with higher odds of policy support. Results were similar among current tobacco users.
Conclusions: Parents are an important group of tobacco control stakeholders and should be utilized to garner support for tobacco control policies in the context of the recent growth in youth tobacco and e-cigarette use. Parents' public support for tobacco control policies, particularly regulations on e-cigarette sales and marketing, can motivate advocates and policymakers to advance tobacco control policy agendas.
Implications: Youth tobacco and e-cigarette use in the United States has increased in recent years. Parents are important stakeholders to inform policy agendas and advance efforts to restrict youth access and exposure to tobacco products. This study provides evidence that parents of adolescents are highly supportive of youth-centered tobacco control policies, particularly those that restrict access to youth-targeted e-cigarette marketing and the sale of youth-appealing flavored e-cigarettes. Utilizing policy support to mobilize parents may be an important advocacy strategy to advance tobacco control policy agendas and curb rising rates of youth e-cigarette and tobacco use.
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