Electronic cigarettes remain an option often used at the discretion of physicians to potentially mitigate the effects of tobacco-caused addiction of cigarettes. However, many physicians still have misconceptions about e-cigarettes, according to new research.
E-cigarettes are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a cessation therapy; and so its recommended use by physicians to help stop smoking habits should be cautioned.
A study in JAMA asked more than 2,000 physicians regarding their input to patients about the use of e-cigarettes. The study considered two different scenarios of patients: one of whom was a light smoker with no attempt to curb the habit while another of a refractory case.
The researchers of the study revealed that physicians who gave input to the more severe smokers with refractory cases were more likely to be recommended e-cigarettes compared to their counterparts. The light smokers with no past efforts to curb the habit were recommended FDA-approved treatments, like nicotine patches.
“In this survey study of physicians, findings suggest that physicians may recommend switching to e-cigarettes for some patients who smoke cigarettes under certain circumstances, presumably for cessation,” the authors explained in their JAMA report.
“The belief that all tobacco products are equally harmful was associated with lower rates of recommending e-cigarettes. As the evidence base grows for e-cigarette efficacy for smoking cessation, there is need for physician education regarding e-cigarette efficacy.”