Electronic cigarettes are an important public health concern. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and morbidity worldwide and is a risk factor for six of the eight leading global causes of death. E-cigarettes have been proposed as an enticing prospect to reduce the harms of conventional tobacco use. However, they are increasingly used by middle-school and high-school students and threaten important barriers that have slowly protected the public against tobacco products including renormalization, price barriers, limitations on advertising and access, and bans on flavoring. Physicians have poor knowledge about the potential harms of e-cigarettes and limited data exists regarding potential long-term outcomes. We explored resident physician beliefs and practices regarding e-cigarettes. Several themes were identified: (1) Conversations regarding e-cigarettes are becoming more frequent in physician offices; (2) A lack of knowledge regarding potential harms and benefits of e-cigarettes exists among resident physicians; (3) Physicians falsely believe that e-cigarettes are safer alternatives to conventional smoking products; (4) More education is needed regarding evidence based smoking cessation techniques.
Key words: Electronic cigarettes, public health, nicotine, smoking.
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