Alternative cigarette-like nicotine delivery systems have been met with diverse opinions. One concern has been for the effect on children. We investigate whether children can differentiate tobacco cigarette smoking from use of a nicotine inhaler and electronic cigarette. Their opinions on these devices was also of interest. Two structured focus groups and twelve individual interviews were conducted with twenty Maori and Pacific children (6-10 years old) in low socioeconomic areas in Auckland, New Zealand. Children viewed short video clips on an iPad that demonstrated an actor smoking a tobacco cigarette, sucking a lollipop or using an electronic cigarette or a nicotine inhaler. Children did not recognise the inhaler or electronic cigarette. Some children did however notice anomalies in the 'smoking' behaviour. Once told about the products the children were mostly positive about the potential of the inhaler and electronic cigarette to assist smokers to quit. Negative perceptions were expressed, including views about the ill health effects associated with continued nicotine intake and the smoker's inability to quit. In a context unfamiliar with electronic cigarettes or nicotine inhalers, such as New Zealand, children may misperceive use of these products as smoking. Once these products are more common and the purpose of them is known, seeing people use them should normalise quitting behaviour, something the children were very supportive of.
J., F., M., G., V., N., & F., P. (2013). Looks like smoking, is it smoking?: children’s perceptions of cigarette-like nicotine delivery systems, smoking and cessation. Harm Reduction Journal. J. Faletau. Retrieved from http://ovidsp.ovid.com/ovidweb.cgi?T=JS&PAGE=reference&D=emed12&NEWS=N&AN=24238406