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Prev Med Rep. 2015 Feb 2;2:96-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2015.01.006. eCollection 2015.

Patient-physician communication regarding electronic cigarettes.

Author information

1
Division of General Internal Medicine, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ, USA; Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.
2
Center for Tobacco Studies, Rutgers School of Public Health, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.
3
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, USA; Center for Tobacco Studies, Rutgers School of Public Health, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Smokers are likely asking their physicians about the safety of e-cigarettes and their potential role as a cessation tool; however, the research literature on this communication is scant. A pilot study of physicians in the United States was conducted to investigate physician-patient communication regarding e-cigarettes.

METHODS:

A total of 158 physicians were recruited from a direct marketing e-mail list and completed a short, web-based survey between January and April 2014. The survey addressed demographics, physician specialty, patient-provider e-cigarette communication, and attitudes towards tobacco harm reduction.

RESULTS:

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of physicians reported being asked about e-cigarettes by their patients, and almost a third (30%) reported that they have recommended e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool. Male physicians were significantly more likely to endorse a harm reduction approach.

DISCUSSION:

Physician communication about e-cigarettes may shape patients' perceptions about the products. More research is needed to explore the type of information that physicians share with their patients regarding e-cigarettes and harm reduction.

KEYWORDS:

E-cigarettes; Harm reduction; Physicians; Tobacco

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