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‘It's a bit of a grey area’: challenges faced by stop smoking practitioners when advising on e-cigarettes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 December 2019

Dayyanah Sumodhee*
Affiliation:
Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
Rachel Povey
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, School of Life Sciences and Education, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK
Nikolas Pontikos
Affiliation:
Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, London, UK
*
Author for correspondence: Dayyanah Sumodhee, E-mail: d.sumodhee@qmul.ac.uk

Abstract

Introduction

According to UK guidelines, stop smoking practitioners are expected to be open and supportive towards e-cigarette users. As adequate support from practitioners can be instrumental for smokers to successfully quit smoking, it is crucial to explore the challenges that stop smoking practitioners face when advising on e-cigarette use.

Aim

This qualitative study explores the challenges that stop smoking practitioners face when advising patients on e-cigarettes.

Methods

A qualitative study was conducted with semi-structured interviews with 10 stop smoking practitioners from four stop smoking services in London. Face to face interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Inductive thematic analysis was conducted to explore practitioners' experiences when advising on e-cigarettes.

Findings

Two themes were noted: practitioners' concerns and practitioner–patient interactions. Practitioners were particularly concerned regarding the lack of information, safety issues and the maintenance of addiction linked with e-cigarettes. They emphasised the difficulty of advising on a product that they cannot prescribe. Overall, practitioners expressed the lack of confidence when advising on e-cigarettes since they were often unprepared and not able to answer patients' questions on e-cigarettes.

Conclusions

Stop smoking practitioners' lack of confidence and limited knowledge regarding e-cigarettes emphasises the necessity for training and guidance on e-cigarettes to improve their interactions with patients on this subject. In particular, practitioners need to be provided with clear guidance on how to counsel patients about how and where to buy e-cigarettes.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Cambridge University Press

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