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mturk ecig poster 18FEB15_final

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mturk ecig poster 18FEB15_final

  1. 1. Consumer Perceptions of E-cigarettes: A Comparison of Smokers and Non-Smokers in a Mechanical Turk Sample Sebastian Bauhoff, PhD1 , Adrian Montero, MBA1 , & Deborah Scharf, PhD2 1 RAND Corporation, Arlington, VA, USA; 2 RAND Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA, USA Summary Methods Cont’d Results Disclosures: Dr. Bauhoff, Mr. Montero and Dr. Scharf did not receive funding for this project. They have no financial conflicts of interest to disclose. Background E-cigarettes are gaining in popularity but consumers have incomplete information about their potential risks. The FDA is planning to address this informational need by extending its regulatory authority to e- cigarettes. Information about public perceptions of e-cigarettes, including their availability, cost, benefits and risks can enable FDA to implement policies that effectively protect the public health. Examining this information separately for smokers and non-smokers is particularly important since prior tobacco product experience is expected to be related to perceptions of and intentions to use e-cigarettes. Given plans to extend its regulatory authority to e-cigarettes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) has immediate need for information about how e-cigarettes are commonly perceived. We used Mechanical Turk (Mturk), a “crowdsourcing” labor market platform, to rapidly survey a large (n=797) sample of never (56%) and ever smokers (44%), with (28%), and without (67%), e- cigarette experience, about their perceptions of e-cigarettes. Data suggests that many perceptions and beliefs about e-cigarettes are widespread. However, smokers and non-smokers may have different reasons for wanting to try or avoid e-cigarettes, and public health messages addressing e-cigarette use may need to be tailored separately to smokers and non-smokers. Objective To describe smokers’ and non-smokers’ perceptions of, and reasons for trying and not trying e-cigarettes. N= 797 participants • 83% Caucasian • 40% young adults (ages 25-34) • 65% completed some college or a bachelor’s degree • 44% had ever smoked traditional cigarettes • 28% had ever tried e-cigarettes Participants (95%) were widely aware of e-cigarettes. Demographics and smoking items were from BRFSS. Researchers developed qualitative codes for open-ended items (why/why not try e-cigarettes). Ten percent of coded data were validated and inter-rater reliability was high. Figure 1. Participants learned about e-cigarettes mainly from the internet, conversations and TV. Smokers were also likely to have learned about e-cigarettes from advertising in stores. Figure 2. Smokers reported that e-cigarettes were cheaper than cigarettes on a cost-per-use basis. Non-smokers reported the opposite belief (p<0.001). Discussion • Novel use of Mturk to quickly generate policy-relevant information about e-cigarettes. • Smokers and non-smokers may learn about e-cigarettes from different sources, and they may form different opinions about their safety, cost, desirability, and intentions for future use. • Different public health messages, and outlets for those messages, may be needed to effectively control e-cigarette use in populations of ever and never smokers. Methods Participants were recruited from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (Mturk) in March, 2014. Mturk is a pre-packaged, integrated recruitment and compensation system. It includes a large participant pool and tools to screen and filter participants for individual studies. MTurk users eligible for this study were adults aged 18-64 who connected from a U.S.-based server. Participants clicked on a link for a “Social Science Study” and provided informed consent. They were paid $0.75 for a completed survey. The study survey had 35 questions and took 10 minutes to complete. Never Smoker Ever Smoker Total E-Cigarettes Never User 361 (81%) 88 (25%) 534 (67%) Ever User 62 (14%) 253 (72%) 223 (28%) Missing 23 (5%) 10 (3%) 40 (5%) Total 446 (100%) 351 (100%) 797 (100%) *Percentages are for columns Table 1. Ever smokers (72%) were more likely than never smokers (14%) to have tried e-cigarettes (p<0.001). 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Nonsmoker Smoker Cheaper About the same More expensive 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Nonsmoker Smoker 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Nonsmoker Smoker Figure 3. Smokers were more likely than non-smokers to report that e- cigarettes help with quitting smoking (p<0.01). • Among never users of e-cigarettes, ever smokers were more likely than never smokers to report intentions to try e-cigarettes (42% vs. 7%; p<0.01) 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Nonsmoker Smoker Figure 4. Top 5 reasons for trying e-cigarettes: Smokers would try for help with cessation and non-smokers would try out of curiosity. Figure 5. Top 5 reasons for NOT trying e-cigarettes: Smokers had concerns about expense and safety; non-smokers said that they did not want to smoke. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Nonsmoker Smoker