75% of parents of middle and high schoolers support banning flavored e-cigarettes
More than three-quarters of parents of middle and high school students favor a ban on flavored e-cigarette sales, according to a new Truth Initiative® study that indicated overwhelming parental support for stricter tobacco control policies aimed at preventing youth tobacco use.
The results, published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, show that 75.2% of parents support a ban on flavored e-cigarette sales and almost all – 94% – favor restrictions on marketing and advertising e-cigarette products to adolescents. More than 80% of all parents and more than 70% of parents who use tobacco, support policies to raise the legal age of tobacco sales to 21, limit tobacco retailers near schools, and keep tobacco products out of view of adolescents.
75.2% of parents support a ban on flavored e-cigarette sales and almost all – 94% – favor restrictions on marketing and advertising e-cigarette products to adolescents
More than 80% of all parents and more than 70% of parents who use tobacco, support policies to raise the legal age of tobacco sales to 21
97% of current youth e-cigarette users vape flavored e-cigarettes and 70% cite flavors as a key reason for their use
The study included data from a national sample of 2,743 parents surveyed in 2018, when 20.8% of high schoolers were vaping. The youth e-cigarette epidemic has intensified since then – more than 5 million youth are now using e-cigarettes and use has increased to 27.5% among high schoolers in 2019.
Few prior studies have focused on parent attitudes and support for tobacco product regulations in the U.S. The authors suggest that mobilizing parents who strongly support tobacco and e-cigarette policies could be an important strategy to curb the rise of youth 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,” the authors write.
Research has found that nearly all (97%) current youth e-cigarette users vape flavored e-cigarettes and 70% cite flavors as a key reason for their use. Almost three months have passed since the federal administration announced a plan in September 2019 to clear the market of all flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol. Public health and parent groups support the move, but, so far, the administration has not followed through on the plan. Ten states and more than 230 localities have passed rules or restrictions on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, and the federal government issued pending guidance to restrict the sale of selected flavored e-cigarettes to adult-only stores.
Parents who are current tobacco users support the policies as well, including restricting e-cigarette marketing to adolescents (90.9%), raising the age of tobacco sales to 21 (75.3%), keeping tobacco products out of view of adolescents (76.2%), limiting tobacco outlets near schools (72.7%), and banning flavored e-cigarette sales (53.6%).
The study asked parents of 11- to 18-year-old students to rate their support for five policies targeted to prevent youth initiation and exposure to industry marketing practices on a 4-point scale from “strongly support” to “strongly oppose.” Read the entire study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.