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Pennsylvania policymakers’ knowledge, attitudes and likelihood for action regarding waterpipe tobacco smoking and electronic nicotine delivery systems

Hoffman, Beth L and Tulikangas, MC and James, A. Everette and Shensa, A and Colditz, Jason B. and Sidani, JE and Primack, BA (2018) Pennsylvania policymakers’ knowledge, attitudes and likelihood for action regarding waterpipe tobacco smoking and electronic nicotine delivery systems. Tobacco Prevention & Cessation, 4.

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INTRODUCTION Use of waterpipe tobacco smoking (WTS, or hookah smoking) and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS, such as e-cigarettes) is rapidly increasing. However, legislatures have been slow to update policy measures related to them. Therefore, we aimed to assess knowledge, attitudes and likelihood to take future action regarding WTS and ENDS among Pennsylvania legislators.

METHODS We approached all Standing Members of key Pennsylvania House and Senate health and welfare committees to complete a survey about substances of abuse, including WTS and ENDS. Closed-ended knowledge, attitude and action items used a 100-point scale. Responses to open-ended items were assessed using thematic analysis by three independently working researchers.

RESULTS We received responses from 13 of 27 eligible policymakers (48%). Participants answered a mean of only 27% (SD=20%) of knowledge items correctly. When asked to rank by priority eight issues in substance abuse, WTS ranked eighth (least urgent) and ENDS ranked fifth. Participants reported low likelihood to introduce legislation on WTS (mean=29, median=25) and/or ENDS (mean=28, median=10). Thematic analysis revealed that participants readily acknowledged lack of understanding of WTS and ENDS, and were eager for additional information.

CONCLUSIONS Policymakers exhibit a lack of knowledge concerning newer forms of tobacco and nicotine delivery systems and consider them to be relatively low legislative priorities. However, respondents expressed a desire for more information, suggesting the potential for public health entities to promote effective policy development via improved dissemination of information.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hoffman, Beth L
James, A. Everette
Shensa, Aars146@pitt.eduARS146
Colditz, Jason B.jbc28@pitt.eduJBC28
Sidani, JEjes107@pitt.eduJES107
Primack, BAbprimack@pitt.eduBPRIMACK
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health
Date: April 2018
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Tobacco Prevention & Cessation
Volume: 4
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.18332/tpc/89624
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Medicine
Refereed: Yes
Funders: National Cancer Institute
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2018 19:26
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2018 19:26


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