Patterns of electronic cigarette use and user beliefs about their safety and benefits: An Internet survey
Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012
© 2012 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs
Drug and Alcohol Review
Volume 32, Issue 2, pages 133–140, March 2013
How to Cite
[Patterns of electronic cigarette use and user beliefs about their safety and benefits: An Internet survey. Drug Alcohol Rev 2013; 32:133-140], , .
- Issue published online: 5 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Received: 7 OCT 2011
- Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland. Grant Number: N N404 025638
- Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco. Grant Number: NIH/R25CA113710
- UK Center for Tobacco Control Studies (UKCTCS), UK Public Health Center of Excellence
- Economic and Social Research Council
- British Heart Foundation
- Cancer Research UK
- National Institute for Health Research
- Medical Research Council
- electronic nicotine delivery system;
- electronic cigarette;
Introduction and Aims
As the popularity of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) increases, it is becoming important to find out more about the characteristics of e-cigarette users, why and how they use the product and whether e-cigarettes are used exclusively or in combination with conventional cigarettes. The objective of this study was to investigate patterns and effects of e-cigarette use and user beliefs about e-cigarette safety and benefits.
Design and Methods
E-cigarette users in Poland were recruited online and asked to participate in a web-based survey. The participants provided information on their smoking history, patterns of e-cigarette use, beliefs and attitudes regarding the product and information on concurrent use of conventional cigarettes.
The survey was completed by 179 e-cigarette users. Almost all participants used e-cigarettes daily. E-cigarettes were primarily used to quit smoking or to reduce the harm associated with smoking (both 41%), and were successful in helping the surveyed users to achieve these goals with 66% not smoking conventional cigarettes at all and 25% smoking under five cigarettes a day. Most participants (82%) did not think that e-cigarettes were completely safe, but thought that they were less dangerous than conventional cigarettes. Sixty percent believed that e-cigarettes were addictive, but less so than conventional cigarettes.
Discussion and Conclusions
The participants primarily used e-cigarettes as a stop-smoking aid or as an alternative to conventional cigarettes, and the majority reported that they successfully stopped smoking. More data on e-cigarette safety and its efficacy in harm-reduction and smoking cessation are needed.