The perceived health effects of e-cigarette use among adult smokers
Cheng, Joey (author)
School of Health Sciences (author)
© Joey Cheng, 2020. All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyright heron may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means – graphics, electronic, or mechanical including photocopying, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems – without written permission of the author.
Background: Vaping and e-cigarettes have been an epidemic among youths in recent years. In addition, as of April 2020, there has been hundreds of vaping related illnesses causing fatalities. As such there has been increased coverage by media and the government in regard to reporting vaping-related dangers and implementing regulatory changes such as bans. These actions could deter the target population from engaging in vaping – tobacco users. Research has shown that e-cigarettes are significantly less toxic relative to tobacco and that it could be more effective as a cessation treatment relative to nicotine gums or patches. This study surveyed current perceptions of Canadians with regards to vaping in order to determine if certain groups (i.e. varying ages, smoking status) hold different opinions in terms of harm, health benefits, and support for stricter e-cigarette regulations. Methods: Self-administered online surveys created on Survey Monkey were distributed to Canadians via online platforms Reddit and Facebook. The survey assessed opinions and perceptions of Canadians through multiple choice questions and were collected over a three week period. Results: This study received 157 respondents the majority of which were under 35 (73.08%) and from British Columbia (65.38%). Thirteen chi-square tests were performed comparing group variables (age, smoking status, and awareness of vaping related news) to perception variables (perceived harm, health benefits, safety). There was no association found between age and the tested perception variables. Several associations were found where e-cigarette users viewed e-cigarettes more favourably relative to tobacco users and non-users based on chi-square results. Chi-square associations between media awareness and harm perceptions could not be established due to a small sample size (n< 30). Conclusion: The results indicated that there are associations with e-cigarette perceptions and a person’s smoking status. This may be an indication that there is possible misinformation between groups when it comes to evaluating objective health effects of e-cigarettes. Non-users and a percentage of tobacco users seem to overstate
Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology 2020.