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Table 2 Summary of comments from SSS practitioners in 2011 (n = 174 comments) and 2013 (n = 263 comments)

From: E-cigarettes: online survey of UK smoking cessation practitioners

  % 2011 survey comments % 2013 survey comments Change  
Positive comments 38 40 +2  
Popular 8 10 + 2 “it is very popular. It’s no good ignoring it…it’s here to stay”
Help with quitting 9 12 + 3 “the majority found them successful in helping them to quit”
Reduce harm 9 13 + 3 “A good, harmless e.cig has to be better than smoking”
Very like cigs- cf NRT 12 6 −6 “All of my clients found e cigarettes a lot better than using inhalators. They felt it was more like smoking”
Negative comments 49 69 +20  
Do not help quitting 20 12 −8 “Anything that still looks and feels like a cigarette is not adequately breaking of the old habits”
Operational issues 10 6 −4 “Several clients have relapsed when they ran out of refills for device or could not wait for it to charge”
Safety (inc dependence) 11 24 + 13 “like giving Heroin addicts Methadone” “they seem to be as addictive (if not more) than cigarettes”
Undermines other tobacco control measures 9 27 + 19 Prevention: “Children and young people see the device as fun”
Marketing bans: “they are put in packs like cigarettes and allowed to place advertisements”
Pharmacotherapy: “A client..quit for 6 weeks using the inhalator …He purchased an e-cig… and found that he could get the “hit” that cigarettes used to give him. This lead to increased strong cravings and he eventually returned to smoking. If he had continued with the slow, gentle levels of nicotine from the inhalator I feel he would have been more likely to stay quit”
SSS: “They are reducing the numbers… accessing the evidence based smoking cessation services”
Smokefree: “I feel it undermines the denormalisation of smoking and confuses the SF policies I write”
Research/guidance needs 51 55 +4  
Need more info/guidelines 28 24 −5 “My organisation refuses to rule or take a stance on them so advisors are left in a limbo”
Companies involved 21 14 −7 “I feel young people will become addicted to nicotine by using them and big tobacco is quids in!!”
Probs with current guidelines 1 9 + 9 “How can the MHRA state that no e-cigs tested by them would be licensed yet make no move to restrict their sale for 3 years?”
Integration with SSS 1 8 + 7 Pro: “I feel that any ‘safer’ alternative to smoking should be available to clients through NHS services”
Anti:
“We are a Stop Smoking Service, and we have to remember that is the aim, to help people stop smoking”
“The ability to deliver the harm reduction [NICE] guidance on tight tobacco control budgets is… a concern”
  1. Note that comments could include positive, negative and research/guidance needs statements so percentages do not sum to 100.