The Knowledge and Attitude about New Generation Tobacco Products among Physicians

Turk Thorac J. 2022 Nov;23(6):369-375. doi: 10.5152/TurkThoracJ.2022.22072.


Objective: Health hazards of e-cigarettes including "e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury" are better understood today. Just as e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products release toxic emissions. We aimed to determine the knowledge and attitude about new generation tobacco products among physicians who were the members of an organization for health care professionals, the majority of whom are pulmonologists.

Material and methods: In this cross-sectional study, a self-administered online questionnaire-based survey was conducted among the physicians from April to October 2019. The survey included questions about demographics (gender, age, graduation date from medical institution, and academic title), their smoking status, their knowledge and attitudes toward new generation tobacco products, and additionally about whether new generation tobacco products can be used to aid in smoking cessation.

Results: Among the 506 members who responded to the survey, 56.7 % were female; the mean age was 42.4 ± 10.9 years (20-74). About 74.5% were pulmonologists, 5.5% were thoracic surgeons, and 20% were other physicians. Among the responders, the frequency of those who have not heard of new generation tobacco products before was determined as 9.5%, 24.5%, and 41.3%. At least 58.9% of participants lacked the knowledge necessary to discuss these products with their patients and the rate reached 76.7% for the heated tobacco product. To the question of whether new generation tobacco products can be used in smoking cessation, 68.4% responded "I never agree that they can be used." Non-current smokers (P = .003), elders (P = .001), those who had training on smoking cessation assistance (P = .001), and those who had experience in smoking cessation assistance (P = .009) were significantly more prevalent in the group who answered: "I never agree that they can be used."

Conclusion: Physicians must become considerably more knowledgeable about the new generation tobacco products and hazards. Otherwise, these new tobacco products may pose new threats to national and global tobacco control efforts.