Research support for effective state and community tobacco control programme response to electronic nicotine delivery systems

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Abstract

Objective

To identify unmet research needs of state and community tobacco control practitioners pertaining to electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS or e-cigarettes) that would inform policy and practice efforts at the state and community levels, and to describe ENDS-related research and dissemination activities of the National Cancer Institute-funded State and Community Tobacco Control Research Initiative.

Methods

To determine specific research gaps relevant to state and community tobacco control practice, we analysed survey data collected from tobacco control programmes (TCPs) in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia (N=51). Survey items covered a range of ENDS issues: direct harm to users, harm of secondhand vapour, cessation, flavours, constituents and youth access.

Results

There is no ENDS topic on which a majority of state TCP managers feel very informed. They feel least informed about harms of secondhand vapour while also reporting that this information is among the most important for their programme. A majority (N=31) of respondents indicated needs for research on the implications of ENDS products for existing policies.

Conclusions

TCP managers report that ENDS research is highly important for practice and need research-based information to inform decision making around the inclusion of ENDS in existing tobacco control policies. For optimal relevance to state and community TCPs, research on ENDS should prioritise study of the health effects of ENDS use and secondhand exposure to ENDS vapour in the context of existing tobacco control policies.

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