Science AMA Series: I'm Michael Eriksen, I study why people use e-cigs and other novel tobacco and nicotine products, as well as conventional cigarettes. AMA.

Questions Answers
As a child, I saw smoking cigarettes as disgusting and spent a lot of time trying to convince family that did smoke to quit so they wouldn't die of lung cancer or cough their lungs out. One of the major concerns about the uptake of e-cigarettes is this very fact - the re-normalization of cigarette smoking and the undermining of much of the progress that has been achieved in reducing tobacco use around the world. Many dismiss the importance of this concern, often from a libertarian perspective that people should be free to do what they want, and no one should try to influence norms, but I do not share that perspective, especially since some of the e-cig companies are marketing their products in a very way to evoke nostalgia for the good old days of Mad Men smoking rates. The e-cig company Fin has as it's tag line..."Welcome Back."
With e-cigarettes becoming so popular what is the new perception of smoking we are presenting to our children? Is smoking becoming accepted again in our culture? Lastly, I'm concerned about seeing ecig ads on television for the first time in 40 years in the US, where data are starting to show that it is being perceived as making smoking more attractive.
Hello Dr. Eriksen! I was wondering if you know of any research pertaining to differences in smoking habits between Western Europe and North America? Why has smoking been slower to decline in parts of Europe than in Canada and the US? Good the US, at least, much of the progress in reducing smoking rates derives from the nonsmokers rights movement and the nature of our democracy that allows citizens to petition for change (e.g, increased taxes, smokefree workplaces, etc). This level of citizen action coupled with the ability to get referendum measures on the ballot, spread from California throughout the nation, and lately throughout the world. Success in Canada was a slightly different process associated with strong government action on warning labeles, taxes, etc.
Today, we see the leading countries in tobacco control coming from different regions of the world and for different reasons. Turkey, Brazil, and Uruguay are seem as being among the leading tobacco control countries in the world.

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