Teens and parents agree about the need to restrict e-cigarettes says Davis poll

November 19, 2015

Teens and parents are in agreement regarding the need for restrictions on e-cigarette sales, according to the latest C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, directed by Dr. Matthew Davis.

The survey results, released Nov. 16, have generated news coverage in several leading health- and science-focused publications, as well as in the U.S. News & World Report.

Among the poll’s findings were:

  • The majority of parents of teens (81%) and teens themselves (85%) support restricting use of e-cigarettes in public spaces
  • Nearly two-thirds of parents and about 7 in 10 teens support banning candy- and fruit-flavored e-cigarettes
  • Both parents (84%) and teens (81%) think allowing minors to use e-cigarettes will encourage the use of other tobacco products
  • The vast majority of parents of teens (92%) and teens (91%) think e-cigarettes should have health warnings like traditional cigarettes
  • High proportions of parents and teens favor requiring child-proof packaging for e-cigarette liquid and restricting marketing of e-cigarettes on social networking sites

"Some people may be surprised that teenagers' views are remarkably consistent with what parents think about e-cigarettes," Davis said. "The strong level of agreement between parents and teens suggests that both groups are concerned about the health hazards of e-cigarettes."

While researchers have found that e-cigarettes are less dangerous than smoking tobacco, vaporized “e-cigs” do contain nicotine.

Approximately 14 percent of parents and 9 percent of teens report having tried or currently using e-cigarettes, according to the poll.

Michigan and Pennsylvania are the only two states in the U.S. that do not restrict sales of e-cigarettes to minors.

Dr. Matthew Davis is a professor at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, the Medical School, and the School of Public Health. He is deputy director of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation and served as the chief medical executive for the State of Michigan from 2013-2015. His current work focuses on vaccination policy issues, child and family health insurance issues, and innovations in health care delivery.