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Knowledge and attitudes towards E-cigarette use in Lebanon and their associated factors

  • Aghar, Hanan1
  • El-Khoury, Nathalie1
  • Reda, Mahasen1
  • Hamadeh, Wissam1
  • Krayem, Hussein1
  • Mansour, Mohammad1
  • Raouf, Hawraa1
  • Jaffa, Miran A.2
  • 1 American University of Beirut, P.O.Box 11-0236 Riad El-Solh, Beirut, 1107 2020, Lebanon , Beirut (Lebanon)
  • 2 Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, P.O.Box 11-0236 Riad El-Solh, Beirut, 1107 2020, Lebanon , Beirut (Lebanon)
Published Article
BMC Public Health
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Feb 28, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-020-8381-x
Springer Nature


BackgroundDespite the misconceptions regarding E-cigarettes (ECs), only a few studies have been conducted in the Middle East that focused on this topic. This study assesses the knowledge of and attitudes towards ECs in Lebanon, determines how these two measures are associated, and identifies the variables that explain each of these measures.MethodsA cross sectional study was conducted on a convenience sample of Lebanese pedestrians aged between 18 and 64 inclusive. A structured self-administered questionnaire comprising of knowledge and attitude scales, and questions on demographical, health and smoking characteristics was used.ResultsScores for attitudes and knowledge of ECs were summed and dichotomized using a 75% cutoff, above which the participant was considered to have a positive attitude and good knowledge. Among the 352 participants (56.6% males, 43.3% females, mean age 30.3, 46.2% smokers), 63.3% exhibited a lower level of EC knowledge. More than 50% erroneously thought that ECs are not associated with lung and bladder cancer or impair lung and heart function. 65% falsely thought that it is harmless and not addictive. As for attitude, 43.3, 53.9, and 44.3% thought that it is socially acceptable, helps in smoking cessation, and is a good replacement for cigarettes and an enjoyable recreational device respectively. Our results revealed an inverse correlation between attitude and knowledge scores (Spearman’s correlation = −.30, p < .001). Predictors of knowledge included health-related occupation (p = .010), regular exercise (p = .016), healthy diet (p = .026), EC use (p = .026), perception that ECs are not harmful (p = .001), and help in smoking cessation (p = .017). Predictors of attitude included EC use (p = .008), sex (p = .010), and knowledge that most ECs are addictive (p = .006), harmful (p = .014), and impair heart and lung function (p = .047).ConclusionsOur study revealed a gap in EC knowledge, especially among participants who displayed a positive attitude towards ECs. Hence, measures should be undertaken to regulate its use by instituting more stringent laws and holding nationwide awareness campaigns.

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