Medicalisation of vaping in the UK? E-cigarette users' perspectives on the merging of commercial and medical routes to vaping
Dawkins, L. and Notley, C. Medicalisation of vaping in the UK? E-cigarette users' perspectives on the merging of commercial and medical routes to vaping. Perspectives in Public Health.
|Authors||Dawkins, L. and Notley, C.|
Background: In the UK, most smokers choosing e-cigarettes to quit smoking will access vaping via commercial routes. In recent years, however, a shift towards medicalisation of vaping has become apparent, with public health guidance supporting e-cigarettes for smoking cessation and increased partnership working between healthcare professionals and the vaping industry. To achieve the UK’s Smokefree 2030 target, the UK Government has set out measures to utilise e-cigarettes in NHS settings and to move towards streamlining processes to make e-cigarettes available to a million smokers. This paper aims to understand acceptability of different approaches by seeking perspectives of people with lived experience of e-cigarette use for smoking cessation.
Methods: Mixed methods data, collected between March 2018 and March 2019 as part of a broader study of e-cigarette use trajectories (ECtra study). Data here relate to views of partnership working and medicalisation of vaping extracted from 136 interviews/extended surveys of people who had used e-cigarettes to try to stop smoking. Qualitative data were thematically analysed. Participant ratings of interventions were presented descriptively and differences in participant characteristics and ratings were reported.
Results: Three qualitative themes were identified: pro-partnership, anti-partnership and medicalisation dissonance. Medicalisation was discussed for its potential to reassure smokers about e-cigarette harms and its potential to reach smokers from disadvantaged backgrounds. Concerns were raised about cost-effectiveness, quality of support, conflicts of interest, and limiting product choice. Most participants rated interventions involving partnership working as potentially helpful in switching from smoking to vaping. There were no statistically significant associations between age, gender and socio-economic status and helpfulness ratings.
Conclusions: Both commercial and medical routes to vaping offer perceived benefits to vapers and may complement and reinforce each other to support smoking cessation.
|Keywords||e-cigarettes; qualitative; smoking; vaping industry; healthcare professionals; Public Health policy|
|Journal||Perspectives in Public Health|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||30 Jun 2023|
|Accepted author manuscript|
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Please can this be embargoed until the end of July 2023 as the lead author at UEA is considering a press release when the article is published.
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