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Countering E-cigarette Marketing in the Retail Environment among Adolescents and Young Adults

Principal Investigator: Shivani Gaiha
Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health - Grant
ID Number: 1K99CA267477-01
Award Date: 9/21/2021
Institution: Stanford University


Many adolescents and young adults directly purchase e-cigarettes from brick-and mortar retail stores. The goal of this study is to identify appealing and influential characteristics of e-cigarette marketing in the retail environment that impact adolescent (ages 11-18) and young adult (ages 19-21) e-cigarette purchase and use. Study aims are: (1) to examine adolescent and young adult descriptions of e-cigarette marketing in the retail environment and its influence on their e-cigarette purchase and use behavior; (2) to identify the most appealing characteristics of e-cigarette retail marketing that influence purchase and use; and (3) to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of an e-cigarette counter-marketing lesson to reduce adolescents’ intent to use and actual use of e-cigarettes. To achieve Aim 1, researchers will conduct focus group discussions with adolescents and young adults who have either never used e-cigarettes or have ever used or currently use e-cigarettes; the study will include a separate focus group for youth peer advocates working on e-cigarette prevention (total participants = 72). To achieve Aim 2, researchers will survey 2,250 adolescents and young adults to identify how and which e-cigarette marketing characteristics influence e-cigarette purchase and use; the survey will include a discrete choice experiment. Aim 3 will involve a randomized controlled trial that will assign 950 adolescents to one of two conditions: (1) a newly-developed online counter-marketing lesson about e-cigarette marketing in the retail environment, or (2) an existing online e-cigarette overview lesson to assess influence on intent to use and actual use of e-cigarettes. Findings may inform future educational and regulatory activities related to e-cigarette retail marketing. 

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