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Article

Persistent Misperceptions about Nicotine among US Physicians: Results from a Randomized Survey Experiment

1
Department of Biostatistics & Epidemiology, Rutgers School of Public Health, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
2
Rutgers Center for Tobacco Studies, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
3
Department of Medicine, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
4
Rutgers Tobacco Dependence Program, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
5
Department of Health Behavior, Society & Policy, Rutgers School of Public Health, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Kinga Polanska, Dorota Kaleta and Joanna Jurewicz
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7713; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147713
Received: 22 June 2021 / Revised: 14 July 2021 / Accepted: 16 July 2021 / Published: 21 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Health Risk)
We conducted a survey experiment among US physicians to evaluate whether question wording impacted perceptions about the health effects of nicotine. 926 physicians were randomized to receive one of two versions of a question matrix that asked about the “extent to which they agree or disagree that ‘nicotine’ (Version 1) or ‘nicotine, on its own,’ (Version 2) directly contributes to” birth defects, cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, depression, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We evaluated whether question condition predicted strong agreement and/or agreement with each statement, and assessed demographic correlates of each outcome while adjusting for question version. Physicians who received Version 2 were less likely to “strongly agree” that nicotine directly caused birth defects (Prevalence Ratio (PR) 0.84, 95% CI 0.72–0.98), CVD (PR 0.89, 95% CI 0.84–0.95), cancer (PR 0.81, 95% CI 0.75–0.87), and COPD (PR 0.78, 95% CI 0.72–0.84). Females were more likely to “strongly agree” that nicotine directly contributes to birth defects and cancer, and family physicians were most likely to “strongly agree” that nicotine directly contributes to CVD, cancer, and COPD. Question wording is important when measuring physicians’ beliefs about nicotine; however, even after accounting for question version, misperceptions about the direct health effects of nicotine were common and varied by sex and specialty. View Full-Text
Keywords: nicotine; perceptions; survey; physicians nicotine; perceptions; survey; physicians
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bover Manderski, M.T.; Steinberg, M.B.; Wackowski, O.A.; Singh, B.; Young, W.J.; Delnevo, C.D. Persistent Misperceptions about Nicotine among US Physicians: Results from a Randomized Survey Experiment. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 7713. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147713

AMA Style

Bover Manderski MT, Steinberg MB, Wackowski OA, Singh B, Young WJ, Delnevo CD. Persistent Misperceptions about Nicotine among US Physicians: Results from a Randomized Survey Experiment. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(14):7713. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147713

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bover Manderski, Michelle T., Michael B. Steinberg, Olivia A. Wackowski, Binu Singh, William J. Young, and Cristine D. Delnevo. 2021. "Persistent Misperceptions about Nicotine among US Physicians: Results from a Randomized Survey Experiment" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 14: 7713. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147713

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