Purpose—The use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) has risen dramatically in recent years. However, there is currently no published data on use of e-cigarettes among cardiac patients. The current study reports on the prevalence, reasons for use, and perceived risks of e-cigarettes among post-Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) patients. The relationship between e-cigarette use and post- ACS tobacco smoking cessation is also explored.
Methods—Participants were drawn from a randomized trial of smoking cessation treatments following hospitalization for ACS. The current study focuses on 49 participants that completed e- cigarette questions at 24 weeks post-ACS.
Results—51.0% of participants reported ever use of an e-cigarette and 26.5% reported using an e-cigarette at some time during the 24 weeks post-ACS. Ever use and post-ACS use were both significantly associated with lower rates of abstinence from tobacco cigarettes. Participants
perceived e-cigarettes as less harmful to cardiac health than tobacco use and Chantix, and similarly harmful as nicotine replacement therapy. Participant perceived likelihood of experiencing a heart attack in the next year was 34.6% if they were to regularly use e-cigarettes only, significantly lower than perceived risk of recurrence if they were to regularly smoke only tobacco cigarettes (56.2%) and significantly higher than perceived risk of recurrence if they were to use no nicotine (15.2%).
Conclusions—A significant minority of patients are using e-cigarettes post-ACS. Providers should be prepared to discuss potential discrepancies between patient beliefs about the safety of e- cigarettes and the current state of the science.
Busch, A. M., Eleanor L. Leavens, Theodore L. Wagener, and Erin M. Tooley. 2016. "Prevalence, Reasons for Use, and Risk Perception of Electronic Cigarettes among Post-Acute Coronary Syndrome Smokers." Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention 36 : 352-357.