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Health Communication: E-Cigarettes

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Christian Zabol

on 6 October 2014

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Transcript of Health Communication: E-Cigarettes

Role in smoking cessation
A puff of common sense...(?)
Overview of the Article
Article takes a stance that e-cigarettes have a positive role in smoking cessation
Aligns with 2014 Jamie Brown "Real-world effectiveness..." study
e-cigarette users found to be 60% more likely than those who used over-the-counter solutions
20% of e-cigarette users were no longer using traditional cigarettes, compared to 8% who used products and 17% who went cold turkey
Explains mechanisms for cessation are not understood
proposes semantics of quitting - people quit tobacco not addiction
Concludes, from a "health point of view" the motive towards e-cigarettes "hardly matter", and the risks are "clearly negligible" compared to cigarettes
Nevada Zabol
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Health Communication
"Electronic cigarettes: Call it quits"
News Framing & Tactics
News Framing
The article is framed "down-stream" and does not address upstream issues of smoking prevention, cessation or harm reduction
E-cigarettes are framed as curative tool rather than preventative
Weak thematic frame
speaks to larger trends and issues of e-cigarettes
focuses on
study and individual behaviour change
Framed for an audience that is educated and pro e-cigarette leaning
Misleading and attention-grabbing titles
"Call it quits"
"E-cigarettes really do help smokers give up the demon weed"
normalizing e-cigarettes slogans and language, vilification of tobacco
"A puff of common sense"
close up shot emphasizes the personal and conceals the environmental and systems influences of e-cigarettes
Health News Framing Analysis
Personal interest
Background of news article & e-cigarette
Context of e-cigarette & smoking cessation
Literature vs. Media
Highlights of the news article
Analysis of news article
Critique and recommendations
A bunch of hot air?
"Electronic cigarettes: Call it quits... E-cigarettes really do help smokers give up the demon weed"

Economist, May 24 2014, Science & Technology

Received Moderate traction:
286 Tweets
36 comments from readers
>1100 'likes' on FB

The Economist stance
classic & economic liberalism
"A puff of common sense"
Electronic cigarette (e-cigarettes) provide nicotine as a vapour that is drawn into the mouth
Toxicity testing suggests that they are much safer than ordinary cigarettes
"Safer but not benign"; dangers of liquid nicotine and long-term health effects unknown
The prevalence among smokers in the United States has increased from approximately 2% in 2010 to more than 30% in 2012
E-cigarette sales have increased six-fold from $300 million USD in 2012 to approximately $1.8 billion in 2013 and projected $3 million for 2014
There has been a rise of "Vape-culture"

The E-cigarette Facts
(not exhaustive)

Brown, J., Beard, E., Kotz, D., Michie, S., & West, R. (2014). Real-world effectiveness of e-cigarettes when used to aid smoking cessation: a cross-sectional population study. Addiction.

Bullen, C., Howe, C., Laugesen, M., McRobbie, H., Parag, V., Williman, J., & Walker, N. (2013). Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation: a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 382(9905), 1629-1637.

Dorfman, L., Wallack, L., & Woodruff, K. (2005). More than a message: Framing public health advocacy to change corporate practices. Health Education & Behavior, 32(3), 320-336.

FrameWorks Institute (2002). Framing a message: How to think about communications: FrameWorks Insitute. Retrieved October 2014: http://www.frameworksinstitute.org/assets/files/PDF/FramingPublicIssuesfinal.pdf
Recent studies show a positive role of e-cigarettes on smoking cessation
2013 Lancet "E-cigarettes for smoking cessation: A randomized control trial"
2014 Addictions "Real-world effectiveness of e-cigarettes when used to aid smoking cessation: a cross-sectional study"

Recent studies show e-cigarettes evoke smoking
2014 Tobacco Contol "passive exposure to e-cigarette use increases desire in adult smokers"

Expert and scientist competing voices

Over-saturated & controversial

Media framing as:
Harm reduction strategy
Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternative Association
"E-Cigarettes: Turning Harm Reduction into Harm Addiction" (Forbes, July 2014)
Quit aid
"Study gives e-cigarette edge in helping smokers quit" NYT May, 2014
Maintenance or substitution therapy
"E-Cigarettes and maintenance therapy: A smart public health approach" Huffington Post September, 2014
Measure to expand the tobacco industry
Author needs to substantiate the

What are smokers actually trying to quit?
Is this relative to a certain demographic?
Why do alternate cessation tactics not work?
Is quitting about trade-offs?

Claims to take a "health-point-of-view" but is not explicit as to what this means

was not used effectively
Not all smokers have access to e-cigarettes
What is the greater context beyond the individual? How does substitution as a cessation method affect society?

Author failed to provide dominant opposing arguments and evidence
Thank You!
Full transcript