Knowledge, attitudes and beliefs towards e-cigarettes among e-cigarette users and stop smoking advisors in South East England: a qualitative study

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Abstract

Aim To explore how e-cigarettes are perceived by a group of e-cigarette users and a group of Stop Smoking Advisors (SSAs), what are the risks and benefits they associate with e-cigarettes and how do these understandings shape participants' attitude towards e-cigarettes?

METHOD:
Face-to-face and phone interviews were conducted with 15 e-cigarette users and 13 SSAs in South East England between 2014 and 2015. Transcribed data were analysed inductively through thematic analysis. Findings E-cigarettes were used as a therapeutic aid to stop or cut down smoking and as a smoking substitute. A prominent theme is the uncertainty e-cigarettes have generated. This included ambiguity of e-cigarettes' status and efficacy, and ambiguity of e-cigarettes' physical and social risks. Different attitudes towards e-cigarettes were identified.

CONCLUSION:
E-cigarettes' benefits and risks should be continuously evaluated, put into perspective and circulated to avoid ambiguity. Stop smoking services need to recognise the benefits that can be gained by using e-cigarettes as a harm reduction tool.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberPHC-D-16-00110R3
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages7
JournalPrimary health care research & development
Volume19
Issue number2
Early online date4 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Keywords

  • e-cigarettes
  • qualitative research;
  • smoking

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