According to the WHO, each year more than 8 million people die from tobacco use. Second-hand tobacco smoke contributes to heart disease, cancer, and other diseases, causing an additional 1.2 million deaths annually.
The popularity of E-cigarettes has grown worldwide and is marketed as a safer alternative to cigarettes. But, recently the Indian government has announced a ban on e-cigarettes saying the aim is to protect the youth from nicotine addiction.
Objective: To determine doctors’ perception of E-cigarettes and it’s banning
A total of 124 doctors participated in the survey – Anaesthesiologists (33%), Dentist (35%), Pulmonologists (10%), Others (22%)
- The majority of the doctors (82%) stated that they do not recommend E-cigarettes as a good way to quit or cut down on smoking
- When asked why people prefer E-cigarettes more than regular cigarettes, 23% of doctors stated to quit or cut down smoking followed by lesser harmful effects to health than regular cigarettes (16%), it is handy (14%) and available in different flavours (12%).
- Nicotine gum and patches were stated to be the most effective nicotine replacement therapy by most doctors, while E-cigarette was the least effective therapy
- More than half of the doctors (66%) feel that the Indian government has taken the right decision by banning E-cigarettes
- When asked if the government should have first banned regular cigarettes and other tobacco products, 80% of them agreed to it
- Our study reveals that most doctors support the ban on E-cigarettes taken by the Indian government, as they strongly advocate them to be a harmful alternative. They strongly hold the opinion that the government should also work on regulating or banning regular tobacco products
- This cannot be achieved without effective enforcement, regular monitoring, and different state and central governments’ collaboration. By doing so, the government can curb the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences caused by tobacco products
From physicians’ and hospitals’ perspectives, more patient educational materials and platforms that provide tailored information about e-cigarettes and tobacco could potentially be used to initiate discussions and inform smokers about what is known vs unknown about tobacco and E-cigarette usage.
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