Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

E-cigarette use increasing among children, survey says

  • Print

TORONTO -- They may be plugged into social media, but digital tools alone don't appear to be the most effective way to help young adult smokers butt out, according to new research.

Commissioned by Health Canada, eight focus groups were held last February in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg to look at issues related to quitting smoking.

The target audience was young adults aged 20 to 24 who smoked either on a daily or occasional basis. Most participants smoked in the range of five to 10 cigarettes per day, with the majority having lit up for five years or more.

The study found that participants who smoked at home reported taking part in a variety of activities while indulging in the habit, including texting, checking email and surfing online. But when it came to resources to help them butt out, receptiveness was "limited" to specific forms of support through social media, like peer support through an online message board or Facebook page, Twitter posts, texts, support emails or Facebook messages delivered through their news feeds.

What's more, young adult smokers tended to be more interested in receiving in-person support versus online. Some explained a lack of interest in going the digital route by suggesting individual discipline was key to remaining smoke-free -- a signal that quitting is typically a solo effort.

In weighing use of social media and "digital engagement tactics" to help young adult smokers quit, the report concluded that it shouldn't be taken for granted that widespread use of online tools will ensure success, noting that they are mainly used for "entertainment or diversion."

"While young adults are online and engaged in the digital environment, traditional advertising is still very important to them. Feedback from the groups suggests that young adults are likely to notice billboard and poster-style ads (or have been conditioned to) in places they go," the report read.

"An integrated approach to advertising and promotion using a combination of social media and traditional media is recommended in order to effectively reach this audience."

Focus group participants didn't entirely dismiss use of virtual media as a means to help kick the habit. In fact, participants expressed "moderate interest" in various digital resources, seeing them as another form of assistance that "could be added to their toolkit."

When asked about the Break It Off initiative developed by the Canadian Cancer Society, most participants said traditional media would be the best way to reach them and their friends with the campaign message, with suggestions including communicating via TV, radio, posters, billboards and magazines.

Some participants suggested advertising in places where young people smoke or purchase cigarettes as being an effective strategy. Others recommended incorporating elements of social media into the mix with ads on YouTube, Facebook or popular mobile apps, or using QR codes and texts to direct them towards the Break It Off website as an effective way of connecting with young adults.

Among digital tools, mobile apps were preferred by most participants, citing factors like ease of access, convenience and the ability personalize the service. Suggested features like cigarette counters, encouraging messages and the ability to access and connect with other app users were also noted.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 9, 2013 D4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

City Beautiful trailer: How architecture shaped Winnipeg's DNA

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Winnipeg’s best friend the dragon fly takes a break at English Gardens in Assiniboine Park Wednesday- A dragon fly can eat  food equal to its own weight in 30 minutes-Standup photo- June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Weather Standup- Catching rays. Prairie Dog stretches out at Fort Whyte Centre. Fort Whyte has a Prairie Dog enclosure with aprox. 20 dogs young and old. 060607.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Premier Greg Selinger resign?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google