E-cigarette product preferences among Australian young adult e-cigarette users
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Objective: To assess preferences for e-cigarettes containing nicotine and flavourings among Australian young adult e-cigarette users. Methods: An online survey was administered to 1,116 young adults (18–25 years), 104 of whom had used an e-cigarette in the last 30 days and were the focus of this study. Among users, 53% also smoked tobacco cigarettes, 27% were non-smokers and 20% had never smoked. Results: Nearly two-thirds (64%) of e-cigarette users preferred nicotine-containing e-cigarettes (71% of smokers, 56% of non-smokers, 55% of never smokers). The vast majority (89%) preferred flavoured e-cigarettes (92% of smokers, 82% of non-smokers, 95% of never smokers), with fruit flavours the most popular. Conclusions: E-cigarettes containing nicotine and flavourings were popular among users of these devices in this sample of young adults. Implications for public health: Previous research has documented potential harms associated with e-liquid additives, flavourings, and nicotine. The present results showing strong preferences for nicotine and flavourings among the sampled e-cigarette users suggest that: i) flavourings in e-liquids should be regulated; and ii) existing prohibitions on the unauthorised supply of liquid nicotine should be better enforced. Population-wide monitoring of the use of e-cigarettes with different product characteristics is also warranted.
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