Belief, Knowledge, and Practice on Electronic Cigarettes among Allergists, Pulmonologists and General Practitioners
Monday, March 5, 2018
South Hall A2 (Convention Center)
Sherry Zhou, MD, MSc, Alan P. Baptist, MD MPH FAAAAI
RATIONALE: There has been a striking recent increase in electronic cigarette (e-cig) use in the U.S. The beliefs and practices towards e-cigs among physicians across specialties are unknown.

METHODS: An anonymous survey on personal use, knowledge and beliefs of e-cigs was sent to general practitioners (GPs), allergists, and pulmonologists at the University of Michigan. Statistical analysis was performed using T-tests, ANOVA, and logistic regression.

RESULTS: A total of 264 physicians completed the survey (222 GPs, 33 pulmonologists, and 9 allergists). All physicians report asking about cigarette use more frequently than e-cig use in the office (p<0.001). Respondents were more likely to attribute use of cigarettes to malignancies, heart, lung and allergic diseases compared to the use of e-cigs (P<0.001). Compared to pulmonologists and GPs, more allergists believe that e-cigs have some advantages over traditional cigarettes (p<0.05). Allergists’ performance on e-cig knowledge questions was significantly lower than pulmonologists but not GPs. Compared to pulmonologists and GPs, allergists did not feel as comfortable at providing e-cig cessation counseling (p<0.001), and fewer allergists agree with banning e-cig sales and advertisement (p<0.05). Age, gender, and faculty status were not significant predictors of e-cig cessation comfort level.

CONCLUSIONS: Physicians across specialties lack knowledge and confidence in providing education and cessation counseling for e-cig users. As allergists see an increasing number of patients who use e-cigs, there is an urgent need to incorporate e-cig education into medical teaching and research agendas.