Introduction: Increases in electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) awareness and current use have been documented in high income countries but less is known about middle and low income countries.
Methods: Nationally representative household survey data from the first four Global Adult Tobacco Surveys to assess e-cigarettes were analyzed, including Indonesia (2011), Malaysia (2011), Qatar (2013), and Greece (2013). Correlates of e-cigarette awareness and current use were calculated. Sample sizes for Greece and Qatar allowed for further analysis of e-cigarette users.
Results: Awareness of e-cigarettes was 10.9% in Indonesia, 21.0% in Malaysia, 49.0% in Qatar, and 88.5% in Greece. In all four countries, awareness was higher among male, younger, more educated, and wealthier respondents. Current e-cigarette use among those aware of e-cigarettes was 3.9% in Malaysia, 2.5% in Indonesia, 2.2% in Greece and 1.8% in Qatar. Across these four countries, an estimated 818 500 people are currently using e-cigarettes. Among current e-cigarette users, 64.4% in Greece and 84.1% in Qatar also smoked cigarettes, and, 10.6% in Greece and 6.0% in Qatar were never-smokers.
Conclusions: E-cigarette awareness and use was evident in all four countries. Ongoing surveillance and monitoring of awareness and use of e-cigarettes in these and other countries could help inform tobacco control policies and public health interventions. Future surveillance should monitor use of e-cigarettes among current smokers and uptake among never-smokers and relapsing former smokers.
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