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. 2019 May 27;19(1):642.
doi: 10.1186/s12889-019-6957-0.

An Online Survey of Users of Tobacco Vaporizers, Reasons and Modes of Utilization, Perceived Advantages and Perceived Risks

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An Online Survey of Users of Tobacco Vaporizers, Reasons and Modes of Utilization, Perceived Advantages and Perceived Risks

Sébastien Queloz et al. BMC Public Health. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Tobacco vaporizers heat tobacco without burning it, to produce an inhalable aerosol. Various models have recently appeared on the market, mostly manufactured by the tobacco industry, but few of the studies published on tobacco vaporizers are independent from the manufacturers. The goals of this study were to explore who uses tobacco vaporizers, how these products are used, reasons for utilization, perceived advantages and risks.

Methods: Online questionnaire collected from October 2016 to January 2018 in self-selected visitors aged > 18 to an anti-addiction website.

Results: We obtained 170 valid responses, of whom 104 were using tobacco vaporizers. For homogeneity, we included only the 102 users of the Brand 1 tobacco vaporizer in our analysis, as there were only two users of other vaporizers. Among these 102 vaporizer users, about half were current cigarette smokers (57%), the rest were former cigarette smokers. The median age was 41, and the median duration of utilization was 9 months. Most (88%) used the vaporizer daily, 8% were occasional users and 4% were past users. Among current smokers, 80% were currently trying to reduce their cigarette consumption and 29% were trying to quit. The vaporizer was used mainly to replace cigarettes (94%), because it was perceived to be less toxic than cigarettes (89%), to help stop smoking or to avoid starting smoking again (72%), or to reduce cigarette consumption (71%). Current smokers who were daily or occasional vaporizer users reported smoking a median of 8.0 cigarettes per day, compared with 20.0 per day before they started to use the vaporizer (p < .0001, Wilcoxon signed-rank test).

Conclusions: In this online sample of early adopters, Brand 1 was by far the most frequently used tobacco vaporizer. It was used by current or former smokers only, mainly to replace cigarettes, and satisfaction ratings were good. Users considered the tobacco vaporizer to be less toxic than cigarette smoke and perceived it to be helpful for reducing or stopping smoking.

Keywords: Cigarette consumption; E-cigarette; Internet; Nicotine; Tobacco vaporizer; Tobacco withdrawal symptoms.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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