E-cigarette users are a new challenge for Quitline
More details
Hide details
Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland
Publication date: 2020-10-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A115
Download abstract book (PDF)

Despite the well-established public awareness of the harmful effects of smoking, 21% of adults still smoke in Poland every day, and 5% of Poles smoke occasionally. The vast majority of smokers still use traditional cigarettes; however, we could observe the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes. One of the reasons for their popularity is probably their promotion as a safer form of smoking. Data from 2018 indicate that in Poland 3.1% of adult men and 1.7% of women are exclusive users of e-cigarettes, and in the 18–24 age group regular use of tobacco products of e-cigarettes was started by 7.9% of current smokers and 12.6% of pupils or students.

Objectives and Methods:
To analyze the profile of 102 e-cigarette users calling the national Quitline, and to compare them to 2495 users of regular cigarettes.

In the second half of 2019, e-cigarette users accounted for 3.9% of callers, of whom 32.3% were women and 67.3% men. There are clear differences in the callers’ profile. Users of e-cigarettes calling the Quitline are mainly people under 30 years of age (64.4%), while among traditional smokers there are only 33.6% in this age group. There is a clear difference in the declared motivation to stop smoking. Among the users who smoke traditional cigarettes, 34.2% as the main motivation to quit smoking declare concern for health, and among e-smokers, only 14% declare such motivation. E-cigarette users declare rather family pressure or aesthetic considerations or the fashion of not smoking as the reason for wanting to quit. This may suggest a belief that e-cigarettes are not or less harmful. A small percentage of Polish Quitline callers use e-cigarettes as a method to quit smoking. Only 1% planned to use these devices to quit smoking and during the current attempt, and 2.2% have tried to quit using e-cigarettes in the past. Only 8 people using e-cigarettes used the proactive service, of which 5 people stopped smoking.

The growing number of e-cigarette users among Quitline callers requires changes in the training of the team and study on the effectiveness of re- and proactive interventions.