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What Rutgers study uncovered about e-cigarette use

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A recent Rutgers University study explored the rising use of e-cigarettes and how smokers are finding information about the alternative to cigarettes.

The findings show that more than 50 percent of smokers surveyed by Rutgers believe e-cigarettes are less harmful because common sense tells them that. About 40 percent said they believe that because of news media and advertisements.

Despite the prevalence of knowledge, and more than 85 percent having tried an e-cigarette at least once, a majority said there isn’t enough safety information about the devices.

Physicians were the most-trusted source of safety information, so Rutgers researchers said health professionals should be informed about the devices and expect to have an increased number of patients inquiring about them.

The researchers were Olivia Wackowski, assistant professor of health education and behavioral science, and Cristine Delnevo, co-leader of Rutgers Cancer Prevention and Control Program.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, though, as a $2.9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute was awarded to Delnevo and a team at Rutgers to continue the project on perceptions, attitudes and communication mechanisms for e-cigarettes until May 2020.

“While there may be little that can be done about e-cigarette information found online, the study’s findings underscore the need for e-cigarette regulation that would require standards in product labeling and packaging,” Delnevo and Wackowski said a statement.

Their findings from the survey were published in the November 2015 edition of Preventative Medicine Reports.

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