Organisational Actors Who Engage in Scottish E-Cigarette Policy Debates: A Mixed Methods Approach

Ikegwuonu, T., Hilton, S. , Smith, K. and Weishaar, H. (2017) Organisational Actors Who Engage in Scottish E-Cigarette Policy Debates: A Mixed Methods Approach. 10th European Public Health Conference Sustaining Resilient and Healthy Communities, Stockholm, Sweden, 1-4 Nov 2017. (doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckx189.150)

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Electronic cigarettes have become subject to highly contested public and political debates, including the role of commercial actors in development and implementation of e-cigarette policy. There are concerns that e-cigarette debates provide opportunities for commercial actors to demonstrate alignment with public health interests, build reputation, and gain influence over policy processes. While previous research on commercial sector engagement in policymaking has enhanced understanding of its impact on public health, a striking research gap exists regarding commercial actors’ engagement in e-cigarette debates. Taking the Scottish context as a case study, this project aims to increase understanding of commercial actors’ engagement in policy debates on e-cigarettes, generate critical debate on the sector’s engagement in e-cigarette policy, and contribute to the development of effective e-cigarette policy. The project is investigating commercial actors’ interests in, and position on, the benefits, harms and regulation of e-cigarettes, the ways in which interests and positions are presented and evidence is framed, and efforts to build collaboration and shape e-cigarette policy. A mixed-method approach was applied, combining the use of social network analysis to systematically analyse the relationships between commercial and other policy actors and thematic analysis of documentary and interview data to explore the nature of commercial actors’ engagement in policy debates on e-cigarettes in Scotland. Publicly available policy documents and data from semi-structured, in-depth interviews with key stakeholders are currently being analysed. The analysis will focus on stakeholders’ interests in, and position on, the benefits and harms of e-cigarettes, the ways in which positions are presented, and their efforts to build coalitions in order to achieve specific policy outcomes. The presentation will also shed light on stakeholders’ use of evidence and strategies of dealing with uncertainty.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Additional Information:Abstract published in European Journal of Public Health 27(Suppl. 3): ckx189.150
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Weishaar, Dr Heide and Ikegwuonu, Dr Theresa and Hilton, Professor Shona
Authors: Ikegwuonu, T., Hilton, S., Smith, K., and Weishaar, H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:European Journal of Public Health
Published Online:20 October 2017

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