RESEARCH PAPER
Secondhand exposure to e-cigarette aerosols among smokers: A cross-sectional study in six European countries of the EUREST-PLUS ITC Europe Surveys
 
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1
Catalan Institute of Onclology (ICO), L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain
2
Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain
3
School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
4
European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP), Brussels, Belgium
5
University of Crete (UoC), Heraklion, Greece
6
Cancer Prevention Unit and WHO Collaborating Centre for Tobacco Control, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany
7
University of Medicine and Pharmacy ‘Grigore T. Popa’ Iasi, Iasi, Romania
8
Aer Pur Romania, Bucharest, Romania
9
Health Promotion Foundation (HPF), Warsaw, Poland
10
European Observatory of Health Inequalities, President Stanisław Wojciechowski State University of Applied Sciences, Kalisz, Poland
11
Maria Skłodowska-Curie Institute-Oncology Center (MSCI), Warsaw, Poland
12
Smoking or Health Hungarian Foundation (SHHF), Budapest, Hungary
13
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (UoA), Athens, Greece
14
Department of Psychology and School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo (UW), Waterloo, Canada
15
Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto, Canada
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Esteve Fernández   

Tobacco Control Unit, Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), Av. Granvia de L'Hospitalet, 199-203, 08908 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Catalonia, Spain
Publish date: 2019-02-15
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 2):A11
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
*EUREST-PLUS consortium members: European Network on Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP), Belgium: Constantine I. Vardavas, Andrea Glahn, Christina N. Kyriakos, Dominick Nguyen, Katerina Nikitara, Cornel Radu-Loghin, Polina Starchenko University of Crete (UoC), Greece: Aristidis Tsatsakis, Charis Girvalaki, Chryssi Igoumenaki, Sophia Papadakis, Aikaterini Papathanasaki, Manolis Tzatzarakis, Alexander I. Vardavas Kantar Public (TNS), Belgium: Nicolas Bécuwe, Lavinia Deaconu, Sophie Goudet, Christopher Hanley, Oscar Rivière Smoking or Health Hungarian Foundation (SHHF), Hungary: Tibor Demjén, Judit Kiss, Piroska A. Kovács Catalan Institut of Oncology (ICO); Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), Spain: Esteve Fernández, Yolanda Castellano, Marcela Fu, Sarah O. Nogueira, Olena Tigova Kings College London (KCL), United Kingdom: Ann McNeill, Katherine East, Sara C. Hitchman Cancer Prevention Unit and WHO Collaborating Centre for Tobacco Control, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany: Ute Mons, Sarah Kahnert National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (UoA), Greece: Yannis Tountas, Panagiotis Behrakis, Filippos T. Filippidis, Christina Gratziou, Paraskevi Katsaounou, Theodosia Peleki, Ioanna Petroulia, Chara Tzavara Aer Pur Romania, Romania: Antigona C. Trofor, Marius Eremia, Lucia Lotrean, Florin Mihaltan European Respiratory Society (ERS), Switzerland; Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany: Gernot Rohde, Tamaki Asano, Claudia Cichon, Amy Far, Céline Genton, Melanie Jessner, Linnea Hedman, Christer Janson, Ann Lindberg, Beth Maguire, Sofia Ravara, Valérie Vaccaro, Brian Ward Maastricht University, the Netherlands: Marc Willemsen, Hein de Vries, Karin Hummel, Gera E. Nagelhout Health Promotion Foundation (HPF), Poland: Witold A. Zatoński, Aleksandra Herbeć, Kinga Janik-Koncewicz, Krzysztof Przewoźniak, Mateusz Zatoński University of Waterloo (UW); Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Canada: Geoffrey T. Fong, Thomas K. Agar, Pete Driezen, Shannon Gravely, Anne C. K. Quah, Mary E. Thompson
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use has grown significantly in some European Union (EU) Member States (MS). A better understanding of the exposure to secondhand e-cigarette aerosols (SHA) is necessary to develop and implement comprehensive regulations on e-cigarette use in public places. This study aims to assess the observation of e-cigarette use in public places, the self-reported exposure to SHA, and the level of users’ comfort using e-cigarettes in the presence of others.

Methods:
This is a cross-sectional study of the Wave 1 International Tobacco Control 6 European Countries Survey recruiting adult smokers (n=6011) across six EU MS: Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Spain, within the EURESTPLUS Project. A descriptive analysis was conducted to estimate the prevalence (%) of observed e-cigarette use in different places, frequency of self-reported exposure to SHA, and level of comfort using e-cigarettes in the presence of others.

Results:
In all, 31.0% of smokers observed others using e-cigarette in public places, 19.7% in indoor places where smoking is banned, and 14.5% indoors at work. Almost 37% of smokers reported to be ever exposed to SHA, ranging from 17.7% in Spain to 63.3% in Greece. The higher prevalence of observed e-cigarette use and passive exposure to SHA was reported by smokers of younger age, of higher educational level and those being current or former e-cigarette users. Part (8.8%) of the smokers who were also e-cigarette users reported feeling uncomfortable using e-cigarettes in the presence of others.

Conclusions:
A third of smokers from six EU MS reported being exposed to SHA. Prevalence differences were observed among the countries. In the context of scarce evidence on long-term health effects of exposure to SHA, precautionary regulations protecting bystanders from involuntary exposure should be developed.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
The authors declare that they have no competing interests, financial or otherwise, related to the current work. K. Przewoźniak reports grants and personal fees from the Polish League Against Cancer, outside the submitted work. C. I. Vardavas reports that he is the Strategic Development Editor of TID and that there are no conflicts of interest with this current work. The rest of the authors have also completed and submitted an ICMJE form for disclosure of potential conflicts of interest.
 
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