At the CHEST Annual Meeting 2016 in Los Angeles, results from an online questionnaire sent to members of the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) earlier this year revealed that perceptions of e-cigarette harms and benefits among lung health professionals vary.
More than two-thirds of the 773 respondents perceive e-cigarettes to be harmful. Opinion is split evenly about whether e-cigarettes effectively promote smoking cessation. While most respondents reported that their patients asked for a professional opinion about e-cigarettes, many providers reported they are not comfortable discussing health effects of these products.
"The survey illustrates that patients are seeking professional advice regarding e-cigarette use, but there is no consensus on the harms and benefits of these products among health care providers," says Dr. Stephen Baldassarri, a fellow in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Yale School of Medicine and lead researcher. "Data on these products are limited and providers may be offering conflicting recommendations. This emphasizes the need for more thorough investigation on the risks, benefits and relative harm of e-cigarettes compared to traditional tobacco smoking."