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Focus Groups on E-Cigarettes: Awareness, Perceptions, & Behavior

Principal Investigator: Jennifer Alexander (RTI) and Sarah Johnson

Funding Mechanism: Research Contract

ID number: HHSF223201110005B

Award Date: 9/10/2012

Institution: RTI

Despite limited evidence of the actual short- and long-term health effects associated with electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use, these products are growing in popularity. The goal of this study is to ascertain the diversity of consumer knowledge, attitudes, and awareness related to e-cigarettes. A total of 12 focus groups will be conducted in four locations in different regions of the United States: six groups will include young adults (ages 18-25), and six groups will include older adults (ages 25 and older).  Focus groups will include 8-10 individuals each and will be diverse in terms of race, income and/or other tobacco use status; all focus groups except for the older adult groups will be segmented by gender. Topics covered will include participants' e-cigarette use, attitudes and beliefs about risks of e-cigarettes including perceptions of relative harm compared to other tobacco products, and reactions to advertising and/or labeling relevant to e-cigarettes. This research may inform the design of future experimental studies and surveys related to e-cigarettes and other tobacco products, and may inform the FDA's efforts to implement the provisions of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act related to educating the public about the harms of tobacco use.

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