Electronic cigarette youth access in Poland
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Department of Public Health and Social Medicine, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Department of Health Behavior, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo NY, USA
Department of Civil Law, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Department of General and Analytical Chemistry, Division of Laboratory Medicine, School of Pharmacy, Medical University of Silesia, Sosnowiec, Poland
Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, Sosnowiec, Poland
Publication date: 2018-06-13
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(Supplement):A50
Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use among youth in Poland become very popular. Since the onset of this product access to these products was unrestricted. The aim of this study was to establish functioning of channels of e-cigarettes supply among students aged 16-18 in Poland.

A school-based, cross-sectional survey was administered in 2016 to 21 secondary/technical schools across two regions of Poland. Analyses focused on students aged 16-18 who reported use of e-cigarettes (both exclusive use and dual use with tobacco cigarettes). After exclusions, 531 students (166 exclusive users, 365 dual users) remained in the final analytic sample. Pearson chi-square tests were used to examine associations between dual and exclusive users of electronic cigarettes, supply channels and possible difficulties in accessing e-cigarettes.

For youth exclusive e-cigarette users most common source of obtaining their first e-cigarette was getting from a friend (47%) and vapor shops (22%), for dual users purchase in vapor shops (32%) and getting from a friend (30%). Teens buy mostly e-liquids in vapor shops (52%). Internet is the source for only 4,6% of them. Overall, only 7 % of youth e-cigarette users (10% in exclusive and 6% in dual users) reported having difficulty obtaining (purchasing or getting from other sources) an e-cigarette. Most youth reported no difficulty obtaining cartridges/e-liquid containing nicotine (93%).

In Poland, teenagers get their first e-cigarettes with the help of friends and in vapor shops. Internet is not a popular source of products. Mostly students did not have problems supplying themselves with electronic cigarettes and cartridges/e-liquids. Introduction of a regulation of age limit on e-cigarette sales should restrict the number of youth who start vaping. Continued surveillance efforts are needed to assess the effectiveness of this policy on curtailing youth e-cigarette use in Poland.

This work was supported by the Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland (Grant No KNW-2-127/D/6/N).

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