Awareness and Use of e-cigarettes among Adolescents and Their Adult Caregivers in Two Cities of India

Document Type : Short Communications


1 Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, Navi Mumbai, India.

2 Fielding School of Public Health, University of California-Los Angeles, CA, United States.

3 Center for Cancer Prevention & Control Research, University of California-Los Angeles, CA, United States.

4 School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.


Introduction/Objective: E-cigarette use poses an additional risk for individuals who are not cigarette smokers, especially adolescents. The marketing tactics of the industry have substantially increased the prevalence of e-cigarettes, use among adolescents. India banned e-cigarette in September 2019 that has been criticized by interested groups.  We investigated that among adults and adolescents, who are more aware and using e-cigarette more? Methods: The data were taken from a population-based representative household survey conducted in Mumbai and Kolkata in the year 2019-2020.  A household was enrolled if it had a 12-14 year old adolescent living in it and both adolescent and adult caregivers agreed to participate in the survey. The data from 944 adolescents out of 15,436 enumerated in Mumbai and 1038 out of 24,284 enumerated in Kolkata and their caregivers were analyzed for awareness and ever use of e-cigarettes.  Result: The awareness of e-cigarettes among 12-14 year olds in Mumbai was 15.5%, almost identical among boys and girls whereas is in Kolkata it was 11.2%. In contrast, among the adolescents’ adult caregivers in Mumbai, the awareness was low, 3.9% and in Kolkata, 4.6%. Overall awareness was significantly higher among adolescents than among caregivers, especially among adolescent girls than among female caregivers in both cities. Conclusion: The awareness and the use of e-cigarette were very little and the messages from the e-cigarette industry seem to be targeted more towards adolescents than adults.  The ban on an e-cigarette in India has helped in prevented the marketing of ENDS to adolescents. 


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