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Research to inform public policy re: electronic cigs in CA

Institution: University of Southern California
Investigator(s): Jennifer Unger, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2015 (Cycle 24) Grant #: 24ST-0045 Award: $165,000
Subject Area: Public Health, Public Policy, and Economics
Award Type: Special Projects

Initial Award Abstract

This Special Project will seek to understand where the California public stands on the issue of e-cigarettes, its perceived benefits and harm and the need for regulation and taxation.  To assess the public’s opinions concerning these products we propose to do the following: 

  1. Add 5 questions on electronic cigarettes to the Field Survey of 1000 registered California voters and disseminate the findings.
  2. Based on the responses to the above mentioned survey, convene up to 3 focus groups will be held, for more in-depth assessment of the public’s attitude and beliefs concerning electronic cigarettes.
  3. Conduct key informant interviews with legislators or their representatives and/or key community decision makers in Southern and Central California.
  4. Place the new Field Poll questions in an on-going USC TCORS Project retailers’ interview survey.  The existing survey includes additional questions on e-cigarettes and other vaping products being conducted among 800 retailers in Southern California.
  5. Conduct structured interviews of vape shop employees in Southern California.

As it concerns dissemination, the Field Poll will be conducted in September 2015, with results available mid-October, 2015.  The TRDRP and the USC research team are scheduling a press conference for Monday October 26th to announce results.  This timing coincides with the opening of the Joint CTCP, CDE and TRDRP state-wide conference slated to open the next day, Tuesday, October 27th.  This will be the first step in an on-going dissemination process.  By the end of April, 2016, present a report to the TRDRP.  Working together with other stake holders, a number of dissemination activities have been discussed and will be concretized as the time arrives.  Initial discussions have identified getting the report to members of the California Legislature; TEROC hosting press event; and tweeting the findings far and wide.