E-cigarette use and its predictors: Results from an online cross-sectional survey in Poland
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Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
Nowy Dwor Medical Centre, Nowy Dwor, Poland
J. Babinski Psychiatric Hospital, Lodz, Poland
Social and Technical Department, State Higher Vocational School, Konin, Poland
Pawel Lewek   

Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of Lodz, ul. Narutowicza 60, 90-136 Lodz, Poland
Publish date: 2019-11-08
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2019;17(November):79
Since the invention of electronic cigarettes (ECs) in 2003, their use has spread worldwide; however, little is known about the profiles of EC users. Understanding the motivators for using ECs enables more accurate prediction of their use and more effective direction of pro-health activities. Our objective was to identify the factors that may influence the decision to use ECs and their possible adverse effects according to the experiences of EC users.

A cross-sectional online survey was administered between 1 July 2016 and 1 January 2017 among 1288 Polish-speaking users of social networks and EC forums. To explore associations between current EC use and other factors, multivariate binary logistic regression analyses were performed.

The final analysis included 1142 survey participants: mean age 25.9 years (± 11.1), 85.6% were male, 50.3% had secondary education, 98.2% were Polish citizens, and 81.0% were current EC users. Male gender, lower education, aged ≤40 years, former cigarette smoking, previous attempts to quit smoking, perception of lack of harmful effects of ECs, perception of ECs as being tastier and cheaper than cigarettes, awareness of the advantages of ECs and their use as a smoking cessation aid were all statistically significant factors increasing the risk of EC use. The majority of study participants claimed that ECs are less addictive or not addictive compared to cigarettes (62.6%) and less harmful or not harmful (89.5%) compared to cigarettes. The most common reported side effects of ECs were dryness in the mouth (8.3%), itching in the throat (4.5%) and nausea (1.9%).

Males aged ≤40 years with a lower level education were more likely to use ECs in the studied Polish population. The perception that ECs are less harmful than regular cigarettes is a factor increasing the odds of EC use; however, although ECs have few adverse effects, they nevertheless exist.

The authors acknowledge Edward Lowczowski for English language assistance.
The authors have each completed and submitted an ICMJE form for disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. The authors declare that they have no competing interests, financial or otherwise, related to the current work. P. Lewek and P. Kardas report grants from European Union’s Health Programme and from European Commission ERASMUS+ Project, outside the submitted work. P. Kardas reports personal fees from Aflofarm, Fresenius, Lek-AM, Novartis, Polpharma and Sandoz, outside the submitted work.
PL, BW, PM and PK were involved in the study design; PL, BW and PM did the data collection; JS and PL performed the statistical analysis; PL and PK did the data interpretation; PL and PK prepared the manuscript; PL conducted the literature search; PK and PL obtained funding for this study.
Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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