Purpose Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are battery-powered nicotine delivery systems that may serve as a "gateway" to tobacco use by adolescents. Use of e-cigarettes by U.S adolescents rose from 3% in 2011 to 7% in 2012. We sought to describe healthcare providers' awareness of e-cigarettes and to assess their comfort with and attitudes toward discussing e-cigarettes with adolescent patients and their parents. Methods A statewide sample (n = 561) of Minnesota healthcare providers (46% family medicine physicians, 20% pediatricians, and 34% nurse practitioners) who treat adolescents completed an online survey in April 2013. Results Nearly all providers (92%) were aware of e-cigarettes, and 11% reported having treated an adolescent patient who had used them. The most frequently cited sources of information about e-cigarettes were patients, news stories, and advertisements, rather than professional sources. Providers expressed considerable concern that e-cigarettes could be a gateway to tobacco use but had moderately low levels of knowledge about and comfort discussing e-cigarettes with adolescent patients and their parents. Compared with pediatricians and nurse practitioners, family medicine physicians reported knowing more about e-cigarettes and being more comfortable discussing them with patients (both p
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded through a 2012 Young Investigator Award from the Academic Pediatric Association , supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and the American Academy of Pediatrics (Federal Grant U04MC07853-03 ). The study was further supported by a NRSA in Primary Medical Care from HRSA ( T32HP22239 , PI: Borowsky); UNC Lineberger Cancer Control Education Program ( R25 CA57726 ); and Clinical and Translational Science Institute grant support ( UL1RR033183 ) to the University of Minnesota from the National Center for Research Resources. The authors thank Rachel Eggert for her assistance with planning and conducting the survey.
- Adolescent health
- Electronic cigarette
- Electronic nicotine delivery system
- Medical education
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
- Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.