What do young French people know and believe about e-cig?
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Centre HYGÉE, Institut de Cancérologie de la Loire Lucien Neuwirth, Saint Etienne, France
Expert REVeSS – Bordeaux , France
American University, Kogod School of Business, Department of Marketing, Washington, DC, USA
Véronique Regnier Denois   

Centre HYGÉE, Institut de Cancérologie de la Loire Lucien Neuwirth, CIC-EC Inserm 3, IFR 143, Saint Etienne, France
Publication date: 2018-06-13
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(Supplement):A205
The growth of Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (EC) has led many policymakers to worry about regulating it even though we still know little about the short and long term public health consequences of its use. Today, an estimated 25% of the French population has tried EC and 6% of the 15-75 years. A qualitative study was realized with the objectives to document youths’ experiences, knowledge and beliefs about e-cigs.

We conducted 50 individual interviews with 16-17 years old and 10 focus groups with 13-15 years old from February to July 2017. The sample includes teens leaving in 3 different French regions, different size of the living area, female / male; and tobacco smokers /nonsmokers. The interviews were conducted by a medical anthropologist. The data was collected analyzed following the grounded theory methodology, so that each successive interview is guided by an analysis of previous ones.

The majority of 13-15 years old didn’t have any experience of EC, whereas 90 % of the 15-17 years old admitted that they have tried EC before. They tried EC under their peers’ influence, to fit in, and to enjoy the vapour and play tricks with the smoke. Most have stopped EC after this experience. The majority of our participants showed limited or no knowledge about EC composition. Most of them had doubts about the safety of EC. They are not sure that health effects of EC are better than CC (Conventional Cigarette).

Compared with CC, youth indicated that they would be less willing to use EC under their peer influence. The youngest are still convinced of the role of traditional cigarette as a factor of social integration in the peer group.

Project funded by the French National Cancer Institute - INCa