POST Online Media Lite Edition


NEWLY REPORTED COVID-19 CASES (11.19.2021, 4:50pm CEST, WHO):   India 11,106    Brazil 11,977    United Kingdom 46,858    Russia 37,156    Turkey 22,234    France 19,840    Argentina 1,553    Germany 52,970    Spain 3,932    Columbia 2,257    Italy 10,645    Mexico 3,836    Ukraine 20,050    Poland 23,242    Philippines 1,297    Malaysia 6,380    Netherlands 23,680    Peru 1,370    Thailand 6,855    Czechia 13,374    Canada 2,448    Romania 3,076    Chile 2,611    Serbia 3,219    Sweden 1,210    Portugal 2,398    Vietnam 10,223    Kazakhstan 1,272    Austria 14,212    Hungary 11,289    Greece 7,276    Georgia 4,278    Bulgaria 2,785    Belarus 1,844    Slovakia 7,418    Azerbaijan 2,124    Croatia 7,270    Bolivia 1,119    Ireland 4,646    Lithuania 1,847    Denmark 4,013    South Korea 3,034    Slovenia 3,662    Latvia 1,221    Laos 1,401    China 31    New Zealand 200    Australia 1,302   

Doctors divided on safety of electronic cigarettes

Staff Writer |
Doctors disagree on the best way to answer patients' questions about electronic cigarettes, a new study finds.

Article continues below

They also want more investigation of the devices - specifically, about the safety of e-cigarettes compared to traditional cigarettes, according to the Stanford University researchers.

While traditional cigarettes deliver nicotine when the smoker inhales burning tobacco, e-cigarettes heat liquid nicotine until it vaporizes.

Researchers analyzed more than 500 online discussions between doctors and patients about e-cigarettes.

About 34 percent of patient questions were about the side effects and dangers of e-cigarettes; 27 percent were about general safety; and 19 percent about using e-cigarettes to stop smoking.

Side effects and safety were also the most common topics that doctors raised. But doctors were more likely to raise concerns about nicotine addiction.

About half of doctors' answers to patients' questions were negative, focusing on e-cigarette risks while advising patients not to use them. About 20 percent of answers were positive, such as using e-cigarettes as a tool to stop smoking traditional cigarettes.

Asked specifically about quitting smoking, 54 percent of doctors mentioned e-cigarettes as a possible aid, according to the study published online Aug. 26 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

"The existing research, however, does not indicate that e-cigarettes help people quit combustible cigarettes. This is an area in need of greater study," senior study author Judith Prochaska said in a university news release. Prochaska is an associate professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, in California.

"The big question for me, working in tobacco control, is what's the best way for physicians to counsel their patients about electronic cigarettes," said co-lead study author Cati Brown-Johnson.

She suggested doctors consider talking about e-cigarettes in a "non-judgmental way, even when conveying the risks."

What to read next

Doctors spend one hour with patients, two with papers
E-cigarettes may contain chemicals linked to lung disease
New discovery: E-cigarettes emit toxic vapors