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Perceived relative harm of electronic cigarettes over time and impact on subsequent use. A survey with 1-year and 2-year follow-ups.

Brose, LS; Brown, J; Hitchman, SC; McNeill, A; (2015) Perceived relative harm of electronic cigarettes over time and impact on subsequent use. A survey with 1-year and 2-year follow-ups. Drug and Alcohol Dependence , 157 pp. 106-111. 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.10.014. Green open access

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Media presentations of e-cigarettes may affect perception of the devices which may influence use. OBJECTIVES: To assess in a cohort of past-year smokers (1) if perceived harm of e-cigarettes relative to cigarettes changed over time, (2) predictors of perceived relative harm, (3) if perceived relative harm predicted subsequent e-cigarette use among never-users. METHODS: Longitudinal web-based survey of a general population sample of British smokers and ex-smokers, waves in 2012 (n=4553), 2013 and 2014 (44%, 31% response rate, respectively). Changes over time were assessed using Friedman and McNemar tests, n=1204. Perceived relative harm at wave 3 was regressed onto perceived relative harm at waves 1 and 2, while adjusting for socio-demographics and change in smoking and e-cigarette status, n=1204. Wave 2 e-cigarette use among 1588 wave 1 never-users was regressed onto wave 1 socio-demographics, smoking status and perceived relative harm. RESULTS: Perceived relative harm changed (χ(2)=20.67, p<0.001); the proportion perceiving e-cigarettes to be less harmful than cigarettes decreased from 2013 to 2014 (χ(2)=16.55, p<0.001). Previous perception of e-cigarettes as less harmful, having tried e-cigarettes and having stopped smoking between waves predicted perceiving e-cigarettes as less harmful than cigarettes. Perceiving e-cigarettes to be less harmful than cigarettes predicted subsequent use, adjusting for other characteristics (OR=1.39; 95% CI: 1.08-1.80, p=0.011). CONCLUSION: Among a cohort of smokers and ex-smokers, accurately perceiving e-cigarettes as less harmful than smoking predicted subsequent e-cigarette use in never-users; this perception declined over time. Clear information on the relative harm of cigarettes and e-cigarettes is needed.

Type: Article
Title: Perceived relative harm of electronic cigarettes over time and impact on subsequent use. A survey with 1-year and 2-year follow-ups.
Location: Ireland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.10.014
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.10.014
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Behavior, Electronic cigarettes, Harm, Nicotine, Tobacco
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1472121
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