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E-cigarette Perceptions among HIV-positive Smokers in a Switching Study

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Objectives: Cigarette smoking is highly prevalent among persons with HIV (PWH), which is concerning due to their increased risk of developing smoking-related cancers compared to those without HIV. Smoking cessation rates are substantially lower among PWH compared to the general population and less than half report a goal of total abstinence. Given these factors, a switch to electronic cigarettes (ECs), as a form of tobacco harm reduction, may be a viable approach to decreasing tobacco-related morbidity and mortality in PWH. The US Food and Drug Administration has the authority to implement product standards for cigarettes, including ECs and flavors. Methods: This qualitative study enrolled 19 HIV-positive smokers into an EC switch study. At Week 12, qualitative interviews were conducted to examine EC perceptions and flavor preferences. Results: ECs were viewed as a less harmful, cost-effective method of reducing or eliminating CC smoking, and non-tobacco flavors were an essential part of EC appeal and use. Conclusions: Flavored EC liquid seems to enhance the user experience and may influence the user's ability to make a complete switch. Tobacco harm reduction, as a strategy, will only be effective if current evidence guides tobacco regulatory decisions.
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Keywords: E-CIGARETTE FLAVORS; ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE; HARM REDUCTION; HIV; TOBACCO REGULATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2020

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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