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Knowledge about E-Cigarettes and Tobacco Harm Reduction among Public Health Residents in Europe

1
Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, 80138 Naples, Italy
2
Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
3
Public Health Unit—ACeS Lisboa Central, 1900-138 Lisbon, Portugal
4
Preventive Medicine Unit, Hospital Universitario Reina Sofía/IMIBIC, 14004 Córdoba, Spain
5
Preventive Medicine Department, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), University Hospital of Bellvitge, Feixa Llarga s/n, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, 08907 Catalonia, Spain
6
Clinical Science Department, School of Medicine, University of Barcelona, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, 08907 Catalonia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membership of the the EuroNet MRPH Working Group on Electronic Cigarettes and Tobacco Harm Reduction is provided in the Acknowledgments.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(12), 2071; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16122071
Received: 6 May 2019 / Revised: 10 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 June 2019 / Published: 12 June 2019
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Abstract

Introduction: Although electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and other tobacco-related products are becoming widely popular as alternatives to tobacco, little has been published on the knowledge of healthcare workers about their use. Thus, the aim of this study was to elicit the current knowledge and perceptions about e-cigarettes and tobacco harm reduction (THR) among medical residents in public health (MRPH). Material and Methods: A Europe-wide cross-sectional study was carried out amongst MRPH from the countries associated with the European Network of MRPH from April to October 2018 using an online questionnaire. Results: 256 MRPHs agreed to participate in the survey. Approximately half the participants were women (57.4%), with a median age of 30 years, and were mainly Italian (26.7%), Spanish (16.9%) and Portuguese (16.5%). Smoking prevalence was 12.9%. Overall, risk scores significantly differed for each investigated smoking product when compared with e-cigarettes; with tobacco cigarettes and snus perceived as more risky, and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and non-NRT oral medications seen as less risky (p < 0.01 for all). Regarding the effects of nicotine on health, the vast majority of MRPHs associated nicotine with all smoking-related diseases. Knowledge of THR was low throughout the whole sample. Conclusions: European MRPH showed a suboptimal level of knowledge about e-cigarettes and THR. Training programs for public health and preventive medicine trainees should address this gap. View Full-Text
Keywords: electronic cigarettes; harm reduction; healthcare workers; nicotine; public health; smoking cessation electronic cigarettes; harm reduction; healthcare workers; nicotine; public health; smoking cessation
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Supplementary materials

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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.2669066
    Link: https://zenodo.org/record/2669066
    Description: Supplementary material Appendix 1. Survey. Questions used in the survey. Appendix 2. Results of Principal Components Analysis. Principal Components Analysis and Scree-Plot of the Eigenvalues performed to explore construct validity of the survey. Appendix 3. Supplementary tables
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Ferrara, P.; Shantikumar, S.; Cabral Veríssimo, V.; Ruiz-Montero, R.; Masuet-Aumatell, C.; Ramon-Torrell, J.M.; the EuroNet MRPH Working Group on Electronic Cigarettes and Tobacco Harm Reduction. Knowledge about E-Cigarettes and Tobacco Harm Reduction among Public Health Residents in Europe. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2071.

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