New study explores physician attitudes about use of e-cigarettes

July 31, 2014 by Donna Parker

Physicians are increasingly discussing and recommending electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as cessation devices for their patients, but more research needs to be done on their efficacy and safety, according to a new survey of North Carolina physicians published in PLOS ONE. This study is believed to be the first to measure attitudes toward e-cigarettes among physicians treating adult smokers.

"Even in the absence of evidence regarding the of and other vaping devices, a third of physicians we surveyed are recommending e-cigarettes to their patients to help quit smoking," said Leah Ranney, PhD, one of the authors of the survey and associate director of the Tobacco Prevention and Evaluation Program at UNC. "Yet, e-cigarettes are not approved by the FDA for . It is clear that physicians should refrain from recommending e-cigarettes until more is known about their safety."

The study found that physicians were more likely to recommend e-cigarettes when their patients asked about them or when the physician believed e-cigarettes were safer than smoking standard cigarettes. However, physicians often have inconsistent information about the safety of using e-cigarettes and in this survey 13 percent are unaware that e-cigarettes are not approved by the FDA. "Physicians may choose to use FDA approved medications rather than devices and products not approved by FDA," says Dr. Adam Goldstein, a UNC Family Medicine physician and study co-author.

The study surveyed a random sample of 128 North Carolina physicians about their attitudes towards e-cigarettes. Two thirds (67 percent) of the surveyed physicians indicated e-cigarettes are a helpful aid for smoking cessation, and 35 percent recommended them to their patients.

Explore further: Study finds that smokers who try e-cigarettes to quit are younger and more motivated to quit

More information: Kandra KL, Ranney LM, Lee JGL, Goldstein AO (2014) "Physicians' Attitudes and Use of E-Cigarettes as Cessation Devices," North Carolina, 2013. PLoS ONE 9(7): e103462. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103462

Related Stories

Health care providers want to learn more about E-cigarettes

December 20, 2013

(HealthDay)—Health care providers who treat adolescents are aware of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), but have moderately low levels of knowledge about them and comfort discussing their use, according to a study published ...

Recommended for you

Rio athletes may benefit from 'leaky gut' therapy

June 29, 2016

'Leaky gut' is a condition where the thin mucosal barrier of the gut, which plays a role in absorbing nutrients and preventing large molecules and germs from the gut entering the blood stream, becomes less effective.

Doctors swamped by 'e-medicine' demands

June 29, 2016

(HealthDay)—Doctors say they're drowning in electronic paperwork, feeling burned out and dissatisfied with their jobs thanks to countless hours spent filling out computerized medical forms, researchers report.

E-cigarette vapors could be toxic to mouth, study finds

June 28, 2016

A new UCLA study suggests that e-cigarettes may not be significantly safer than tobacco cigarettes. The research, which was conducted on cultured cells, found that e-cigarettes contain toxic substances and nanoparticles that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.