Support for electronic cigarette regulations among California voters

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Abstract

Policies regulating the sale and use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) vary widely within the USA and worldwide. We assessed support for four proposed policies among a representative sample of California voters (N=1002) and identified latent classes of voters who were likely to support or oppose various policies. Findings showed support for prohibiting e-cigarette use where smoking is banned (70%), taxing e-cigarettes (74%), licensing e-cigarette retailers (74%), and restricting flavourings (57%). Correlates of policy support included smoking status, political orientation, age group and California region. The latent class analysis revealed three classes of voters: Policy Supporters (predominantly college-educated, higher-income, liberal non-smokers), Policy Opposers (predominantly low-educated, low-income, conservative smokers), and Swing Voters (intermediate levels of education, income, and smoking, conservative). Findings provide information to inform segmented state-based communication campaigns regarding regulation of e-cigarettes. If policymakers want to enact prohibitive state-level policies, Opposers and Swing Voters may be important constituents to target.

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