E-cigarettes or vaping: examining perceptions of use and associated harm among current users in Australia and Bangladesh
Muhammad Aziz Rahman 1, 2  
,   David Edvardsson 3, 4,   Christine McDonald 5, 6,   David Castle 7, 8
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La Trobe University, Austin Clinical School of Nursing, Australia
The University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Australia
La Trobe University, Austin and Northern Clinical School of Nursing, Australia
Umeå University, Department of Nursing, Sweden
Austin Hospital, Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Australia
The University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine, Australia
St Vincent's Health, Department of Psychiatry, Australia
The University of Melbourne, Department of Psychiatry, Australia
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A244
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E-cigarettes or vaping are currently increasing in popularity among smokers globally. This study aims to examine the perceptions of e-cigarette users regarding use and associated harm.

A cross sectional survey was conducted during July 2017 among members of different popular online forums in Australia and Bangladesh, who were current or ex-users of e-cigarettes. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data anonymously using Qualtrics.

There were 452 study participants, mean age was 39(±13.2) years and 80%(n=356) were men. Half of them (n=223) resided in Australia and 32%(n=143) in Bangladesh. Three in four participants (77%) lived in metropolitan areas, 47% were married, 33% had undergraduate level of education, a fifth of them were either professionals or employed. More than three quarters (76%) of respondents were not current smokers and 40% of them quit smoking 1-5 years ago. Three quarters of the current smokers (76%) tried to quit smoking cigarettes in the last 12 months. Almost all of the participants (96%) were using e-cigarettes daily and 94% of them had nicotine in the e-liquid used. The average amount of e-liquid used, nicotine strengths and duration of use were 8.2(±6.9) ml/day, 6.7(±5.8) mg/ml, and 25.2(±23.3) months respectively. Reasons for using e-cigarettes were to reduce/quit cigarette smoking (91%), good taste/flavor (50%), low cost (41%), safe to use (39%) and can be used indoor/smoke free areas (33%). The majority of respondents (81%) perceived e-cigarettes as less harmful than cigarettes and 65% perceived them as less addictive. The majority of respondents (88%) did not try to stop using e-cigarettes, however, 75% of them had an intention to discontinue in the next five years.

E-cigarettes were primarily used for reducing/quitting cigarettes, which supports prior evidence regarding the effectiveness of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation.