Youth access to electronic cigarettes in an unrestricted market: a cross-sectional study from Poland

Łukasz Balwicki , Danielle Smith , Małgorzata Balwicka-Szczyrba , Michał Gawron , Andrzej Sobczak , Maciej L. Goniewicz


Background: Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use among youths in Poland has become very popular. The aim of this study was to identify the potential points of access to these products by students aged 16–17 years old before implementation of sales restrictions to minors in Poland in November 2016. Methods: A school-based, cross-sectional survey was administered in 2015–2016 in 21 secondary/technical schools across two regions of Poland. Analyses focused on 341 students aged 16–17 years old who reported their past 30-day use of e-cigarettes. Pearson Chi-square analyses were utilized to examine the associations between access-related items, e-cigarette use and demographics. Results: Among youth e-cigarette users, the most common access to their first e-cigarette was from a friend (38%), followed by purchasing from vape shops (26%). Similar patterns emerged when the students were asked about their access to the currently used e-cigarette. Most youths reported no difficulty in purchasing cartridges/e-liquid containing nicotine (90%). The majority of users (52%) reported buying such products in vape shops. Conclusions: Prior to implementing age-related sales restrictions, youth access to e-cigarettes and paraphernalia did not pose any significant barriers. Poland’s introduction of a new age limit on e-cigarette sales may help to limit the number of youths who purchase e-cigarettes from vape shops.
Author Łukasz Balwicki
Łukasz Balwicki,,
, Danielle Smith
Danielle Smith,,
, Małgorzata Balwicka-Szczyrba (FLA / DCL)
Małgorzata Balwicka-Szczyrba,,
- Department of Civil Law
, Michał Gawron
Michał Gawron,,
, Andrzej Sobczak
Andrzej Sobczak,,
, Maciej L. Goniewicz
Maciej L. Goniewicz,,
Journal seriesInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ISSN 1661-7827, e-ISSN 1660-4601, (A 25 pkt)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishe-cigarette access, e-cigarette use, youth, health behavior, electronic cigarette
Languageen angielski
LicenseJournal (articles only); published final; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); with publication
Score (nominal)30
ScoreMinisterial score = 25.0, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 30.0, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.145 (2) - 2017=2.608 (5)
Citation count*
Share Share

Get link to the record

* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.