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Wojciech S. Zgliczyński, Mateusz Jankowski, Olga Rostkowska, Mariusz Gujski, Waldemar Wierzba, Jarosław Pinkas
(School of Public Health, Centre of Postgraduate Medical Education, Warsaw, Poland)
Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:6322-6330
Electronic nicotine delivery systems, including electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are gaining popularity. The objectives of this study were to assess the knowledge and beliefs about e-cigarettes among physicians in Poland.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A questionnaire-based survey was conducted among physicians attending mandatory courses delivered at the School of Public Health, Centre of Postgraduate Medical Education (Warsaw, Poland). The questionnaire included 24 questions concerning beliefs and attitudes about e-cigarettes.
RESULTS: Data were obtained from 412 physicians (64.3% females; aged 31.9±5.7 years) with a response rate of 82.4%. Among participants, 99.8% were aware of e-cigarettes. The main sources of information about e-cigarettes were: news stories (67.2%) or points of sale of e-cigarettes (67.6%). Approximately half of respondents (50.2%) declared moderate knowledge about e-cigarettes, and over three-quarters (78.1%) declared willingness to learn more about e-cigarettes. The majority (96.5%) of participants agreed with the statement that e-cigarette use is harmful to the user’s health, and most (80.5%) agreed that exhaled e-cigarette aerosol is harmful to bystanders. The statement that e-cigarettes could be “gateway” to conventional smoking was supported by 87% of participants. Only 11.5% of physicians agreed that e-cigarettes should be recommended as a smoking cessation method.
CONCLUSIONS: Physicians in Poland perceive e-cigarettes as harmful and addictive. Physicians’ knowledge about e-cigarettes is mostly based on non-scientific sources, which points out the urgent need to develop national smoking cessation guidelines regulating the issue of e-cigarettes based on scientific evidence.