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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1
La Trobe University, Austin Clinical School of Nursing, Australia
2
The University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Australia
3
La Trobe University, Austin and Northern Clinical School of Nursing, Australia
4
Umeå University, Department of Nursing, Sweden
5
Austin Hospital, Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Australia
6
The University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine, Australia
7
St Vincent's Health, Department of Psychiatry, Australia
8
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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ABSTRACT
Background:
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.

Methods:
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.

Results:
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.

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

eISSN:1617-9625