E-cigarettes: a disruptive technology? An analysis of health actors’ positions on e-cigarette regulation in Scotland

Weishaar, H. B., Ikegwuonu, T., Smith, K. E., Buckton, C. and Hilton, S. (2019) E-cigarettes: a disruptive technology? An analysis of health actors’ positions on e-cigarette regulation in Scotland. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(17), 3103. (doi:10.3390/ijerph16173103) (PMID:31455009) (PMCID:PMC6747168)

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Abstract

Concerns have been raised that the divisions emerging within public health in response to electronic cigarettes are weakening tobacco control. This paper employed thematic and network analysis to assess 90 policy consultation submissions and 18 interviews with political actors to examine the extent of, and basis for, divisions between health-focused actors with regard to the harms and benefits of e-cigarettes and appropriate approaches to regulation in Scotland. The results demonstrated considerable engagement in e-cigarette policy development by health-focused actors and a widely held perception of strong disagreement. They show that actors agreed on substantive policy issues, such as age-of-sale restrictions and, in part, the regulation of advertising. Points of contestation were related to the harms and benefits of e-cigarettes and the regulation of vaping in public places. The topicality, limitations of the evidence base and underlying values may help explain the heightened sense of division. While suggesting that some opportunities for joint advocacy might have been missed, this analysis shows that debates on e-cigarette regulation cast a light upon differences in thinking about appropriate approaches to health policy development within the public health community. Constructive debates on these divisive issues among health-focused actors will be a crucial step toward advancing public health.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ikegwuonu, Dr Theresa and Hilton, Professor Shona and Buckton, Christina and Weishaar, Dr Heide
Authors: Weishaar, H. B., Ikegwuonu, T., Smith, K. E., Buckton, C., and Hilton, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher:MDPI
ISSN:1661-7827
ISSN (Online):1660-4601
Published Online:26 August 2019
First Published:First published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16(17):3103
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
695491Understanding commercial sector engagement in emerging debates on e-cigarettesHeide WeishaarCancer Research UK (CRUK)C54625/A20494IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727671SPHSU Core Renewal: Informing Healthy Public Policy Research ProgrammePeter CraigMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/15IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
SPHSU15

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