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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Perceptions About the Impact of Cigarette Filters on the Environment and Smoking-Related Behaviors.

  • Author(s): Epperson, Anna E;
  • Novotny, Thomas E;
  • Halpern-Felsher, Bonnie
  • et al.


Examine adolescents' and young adults' (AYAs) knowledge and perceptions about the composition and environmental harms of cigarette filters and determine how perceptions are associated with support for policy interventions.


Cross-sectional, convenience sample from 10 California schools. AYAs (N = 429; 70% < 21 years) were surveyed about tobacco use, perceptions of cigarette filters, their impact on the environment, and cigarette sales bans.


Most agreed that filters are harmful to the environment and not biodegradable (89%, n = 383 respectively); fewer knew filters are made of plastic (43%, n = 185). AYAs who agreed that filters are harmful to the environment were more supportive of cigarette sales bans (OR = 2.78 [95% CI: 1.18, 6.58]).


Knowledge of the environmental harms of cigarettes among AYAs may strengthen support for tobacco control. More research is needed to further understand the knowledge and attitudes about the environmental impact of tobacco and to clarify how this might add support for tobacco-related policies.

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