Attitudes, Beliefs, and Practices Regarding Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems in Patients Scheduled for Elective Surgery

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Smokers are at increased risk of postoperative complications. Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS; or electronic cigarettes) could be a useful tool to reduce harm in the perioperative period. This pilot study examined the attitudes, beliefs, and practices of smokers scheduled for elective surgery regarding ENDS. This was a cross-sectional survey of current cigarette smokers who were evaluated in a preoperative clinic before elective surgery at Mayo Clinic. Measures included demographic characteristics, smoking history, 2 indices assessing the perception of how smoking affected health risks, ENDS use history, and 3 indices assessing interest in, perceived benefits of, and barriers to using ENDS in the perioperative period. Of the 112 smokers who completed the survey, 62 (55%) had tried ENDS and 24 (21%) reported current use. The most commonly stated reason for using ENDS was to quit smoking. Approximately 2 in 3 participants would be willing to use ENDS to help them reduce or eliminate perioperative cigarette use, and similar proportions perceived health benefits of doing so. Of the factors studied, only attempted to quit within the last year was significantly associated with increased interest in the perioperative use of ENDS (P=.03). Compared with participants who had tried ENDS (n=62), those who had never tried ENDS (n=50) had a significantly increased interest in the perioperative use of ENDS. A substantial proportion of patients scheduled for elective surgery had tried ENDS and would consider using ENDS to reduce perioperative use of cigarettes.

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