Medicalisation of Vaping in the UK? E-cigarette users’ perspectives on the merging of commercial and medical routes to vaping

Ward, Emma ORCID:, Dawkins, Lynne, Holland, Richard, Pope, Ian ORCID: and Notley, Caitlin ORCID: (2023) Medicalisation of Vaping in the UK? E-cigarette users’ perspectives on the merging of commercial and medical routes to vaping. Perspectives in Public Health. ISSN 1757-9139

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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 use e-cigarettes in National Health Service (NHS) settings and to move towards streamlining processes to make e-cigarettes available to a million smokers. This article 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 the 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 socioeconomic status, and helpfulness ratings. Conclusion: Both commercial and medical routes to vaping offer perceived benefits to vapers and may complement and reinforce each other to support smoking cessation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This ECTra study was originally funded through a project grant from Cancer Research UK, grant ref C54889/A22732. E.W. was supported to collect and analyse data in relation to this paper through an internally funded research position within Norwich Medical School.
Uncontrolled Keywords: e-cigarettes,intervention,qualitative,smoking,vaping industry,healthcare professionals,public health, environmental and occupational health,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2739
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Research on Children and Families
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Centres > Norwich Institute for Healthy Aging
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Public Health and Health Services Research (former - to 2023)
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Epidemiology and Public Health
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Centres > Lifespan Health
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2023 08:31
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2023 02:22
DOI: 10.1177/17579139231185481


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