Workplace smoke-free policies that allow heated tobacco products and electronic cigarettes use are associated with use of both these products and conventional tobacco smoking: the 2018 JASTIS study

Tob Control. 2021 Mar;30(2):147-154. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2019-055465. Epub 2020 Mar 18.

Abstract

Objectives: Heated tobacco products (HTPs) and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are rapidly gaining popularity, especially in Japan. However, at the time of the survey (2018), there was no national legislation banning HTPs or e-cigarette use in the workplace. The objective is to examine the current situation for workplace smoke-free policies which ban the use of HTPs/e-cigarettes and the associations of such rules with the use of HTP and e-cigarette as well as conventional cigarette smoking.

Methods: An internet-based self-reported questionnaire survey was conducted in 2018 as a part of the Japan Society and New Tobacco Internet Survey study. 5646 eligible employees aged 15-72 years were analysed. Proportions and adjusted rate ratios for HTP and e-cigarette use were calculated according to covariates, using Poisson regression models. Those who reported HTP or e-cigarette use within 30 days were defined as current user of the products.

Results: In workplaces which prohibited smoking indoors but permitted the use of HTPs/e-cigarettes, the rate ratios of HTP use was 2.19 (95% CI 1.57 to 3.06), e-cigarette use was 3.86 (95% CI 1.97 to 7.57) and combustible cigarette use was 1.67 (95% CI 1.19 to 2.34) when using workplaces which also prohibited HTPs/e-cigarettes as a reference category.

Conclusions: Workplaces that allow HTP/e-cigarette use indoors were associated with higher rate for HTP and e-cigarette users, and for combustible cigarette smokers. National legislation banning tobacco should be enforced and also cover HTPs and e-cigarettes in order to avoid renormalisation of smoking and nicotine addiction.

Keywords: electronic nicotine delivery devices; non-cigarette tobacco products; public policy.