In a study funded by the Department of Health, researchers at BHRU, (Primary Care Unit) University of Cambridge, assigned 598 school children to one of three groups: one group was shown adverts for candy-like flavoured e-cigarettes; a second group adverts for non-flavoured e-cigarettes; and a third, control group, in which the children saw no adverts. The school children were then asked questions to gauge issues such as the appeal of using e-cigarettes and tobacco smoking (did the children think e-cigarettes or tobacco were ‘attractive’, ‘fun’ or ‘cool’?), the perceived harm of smoking, how much they liked the ads and how interested they might be in buying and trying e-cigarettes. The children shown the ads for candy-flavoured e-cigarettes liked these ads more and expressed a greater interest in buying and trying e-cigarettes than their peers. However, showing the ads made no significant difference to the overall appeal of tobacco smoking or of using e-cigarettes – in other words, how attractive, fun or cool they considered the activities.
We’re cautiously optimistic from our results that e-cigarette ads don’t make tobacco smoking more attractive, but we’re concerned that ads for e-cigarettes with flavours that might appeal to school children could encourage them to try the products
See the full article on the University of Cambridge Research pages, or on the BHRU website.
For the journal publication, please see here