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Ann Thorac Med. 2019 Jan-Mar;14(1):56-62. doi: 10.4103/atm.ATM_76_18.

Electronic cigarette among health science students in Saudi Arabia.

Author information

1
Pulmonary Section, Department of Internal Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
2
Department of Respiratory Therapy, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
3
Pulmonary Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Mouwasat Hospital, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
4
Department of Medicine, University of Jeddah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Electronic cigarette (E-cigarette) is an electronic nicotine delivery device that has been advocated as a safe alternative for cigarette smokers. Since the introduction of E-cigarette internationally and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), it gained popularity, particularly among the youth and young adults. Moreover, many nonsmoker (nicotine-naïve) youth started to use E-cigarette as a new social habit. Recent researches have casted shadows on the E-cigarette safety profile.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of E-cigarette use among students of health science colleges in Jeddah-KSA. It also assesses E-cigarette effectiveness as a smoking cessation method and its possible addictiveness.

METHODS:

The study is an epidemiological, cross-sectional study, which was conducted between November 2017 and December 2017 in three different universities in Jeddah. A self-administered online questionnaire related to E-cigarette and the conventional cigarette was used.

RESULTS:

A total of 1007 completed an electronic survey which was distributed to 3000 health sciences colleges' students. Of the participants 14.1% were cigarette smoker, 46% of them smoke regularly. Students who smoke half a pack per day and above were 22% of the smokers. More college students use the E-cigarette (27.7%). Moreover, one-fifth of the E-cigarettes users were using it on the regular daily basis. The study found that 42.7% of E-cigarettes users have used it as a tool to quit smoking. Interestingly, more than half (56.7%) of the students who used it to stop smoking has succeeded. However, only 46% of E-cigarettes users who tried to quit vaping have succeeded. Young aged, students believed that smoking is more addictive than vaping or recommended E-cigarette for smoking cessation found to have a higher chance of quitting smoking in the univariate regression analysis. While, in the multivariate analysis, students who believed that conventional smoking is more addictive than E-cigarettes; students started vaping to quit smoking, or used E-cigarettes with fruit flavor found to have significantly higher chance of quitting.

CONCLUSION:

The E-cigarettes vaping is more prevalent than conventional cigarette smoking among health sciences students in Jeddah-KSA. E-cigarettes are used as a tool to help smoking cessation in less than half of the user. E-cigarettes help some smokers to quit smoking. However, it seems as addictive to the users as conventional cigarette smoking.

KEYWORDS:

Conventional cigarettes; e-cigarettes; electronic cigarettes; medical students; smoking

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