Poll Shows Connecticut Voters… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Poll Shows Connecticut Voters Strongly Support Prohibiting Flavored E-Cigarettes and Protecting Kids

May 26, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Connecticut voters are deeply concerned about youth use of e-cigarettes and strongly support ending the sale of flavored e-cigarette and vaping products, according to a poll released today by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Nearly two thirds of voters (64%) support the policy, including 59% who strongly support it. Support crosses political and demographic lines.

By a 40-point margin (67% to 27%), voters believe Connecticut should join neighboring states Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey in prohibiting the sale of flavored e-cigarette and vaping products that target kids. 64% strongly support such action.

“Connecticut voters strongly support bold action to address the youth e-cigarette epidemic and protect Connecticut kids,” said Kevin O’Flaherty, Regional Advocacy Director, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “They want immediate action to stop the sale of these flavored e-cigarettes that are addicting a whole new generation of kids and threaten decades of progress in reducing youth tobacco use.”

Strong majorities – of young and old; whites, Blacks and Hispanics; men and women; Democrats, independents, and Republicans – all favor the prohibition. Just 30% of all Connecticut voters oppose prohibiting the sale of these products.

Connecticut voters also overwhelmingly reject tobacco industry talking points. Over two-thirds (68%) of voters, for example, believe it is more important to reduce the number of kids who start using tobacco by prohibiting the sale of candy, fruit, menthol, and mint-flavored products than to help smokers try to quit cigarettes by giving them access to flavored e-cigarette and vaping products (24%). 

Similarly, 67% believe it is more important to reduce the number of kids who start using tobacco by prohibiting the sales of flavored e-cigarette and vaping products than to protect the rights of adults to buy and vape shops to sell e-cigarette and vaping products in the flavors of their choice. Just 27% prioritize adults’ choice. 

Connecticut voters also see vaping as a serious health risk and hold negative views of vaping businesses. Most recognize vaping as a serious problem, with 62% seeing at least some youth usage of e-cigarette and vaping products like Juul in their community, and two-thirds (68%) seeing e-cigarette use and vaping as a serious health hazard for teens and young adults. 

Consequently, there is also deep concern about these companies targeting kids. Over three-quarters (77%) are concerned that tobacco companies may be using candy, menthol, mint, and fruit flavors to market tobacco products to young people.

Indeed, underlying support for prohibiting sales of flavored e-cigarettes is a strong dislike of vaping and e-cigarette companies. Two-thirds (66%) view vape shops and stores that exclusively sell e-cigarettes unfavorably, while 72% view e-cigarette companies unfavorably, and 67% view vaping companies unfavorably.

While ending the sale of flavored e-cigarettes may be the policy option that Connecticut lawmakers are considering this year, by a 25-point margin (59% to 34%), voters also want Connecticut to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products that can appeal to kids – including flavored e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products.

There is no time to waste as young people continue to have easy access to the flavored products that have fueled the youth nicotine addiction crisis. In Connecticut, 27.0% of high school students currently use e-cigarettes. Nationally, 3.6 million kids still use e-cigarettes, about the same as in 2018 when the U.S. Surgeon General first called youth e-cigarette use an “epidemic.” And the evidence is clear that flavored e-cigarettes have fueled this epidemic – 83% of youth e-cigarette users use flavored e-cigarettes and 70% of current youth e-cigarette users say they use e-cigarettes “because they come in flavors I like.”

The poll was conducted by The Mellman Group and comprised a survey of 600 registered voters in Connecticut interviewed by telephone May 15-19, 2021.