New Study Shows One-Third of Physicians Recommend Electronic Cigarettes to Those Seeking to Quit Smoking
A new pilot study revealed in the Science Digest shows that 65% of physicians are asked about e-cigs by their patients. Of those who are asked, about 30% recommend using vaping products such as electronic cigarettes as a means to quit smoking.
The study, which covered 158 physicians in total, was based on a short web survey asking them specific questions about their specialty, demographics, communications about e-cigarettes with their patients, and their personal attitudes about reducing the harm that tobacco products cause. The study showed that many patients are asking their doctors about tobacco and its effects, along with their recommendations on quitting.
Admittedly, the 158 respondents were just a fraction of the total emails sent out, which means that the lower number is less accurate in surveying all physicians. However, of the ones that were returned, the 30% number recommending e-cigs as a tool to help quit smoking was substantial.
It must also be noted that 36% of the physicians who responded offered a harm reduction approach to quitting as opposed to the standard “all tobacco products are bad” response. The information was gathered over the first few months of 2014, and the doctors who were most frequently asked by their patients about smoking alternatives were those who treat a number of tobacco-causing diseases.
While the study was limited in nature, it did correspond to a similar version performed in 2013, which suggests that doctors are being asked by their patients who smoke about ways to quit. Plus, more doctors are now recommending "e-cig" products as one method, perhaps thanks to their greater awareness of vaping products.
While further studies will have to be performed, it is clear that there is a growing trend among doctors, particularly younger ones, to recommend vaping "electronic cigarettes" to help their patients quit smoking tobacco products.