ASHARANI P.V.1, VANESSA S.A.1, FIONA DEVI, S. K.1, WANG P.1, ROYSTONN, K.1, CHONG S.A.1, SUBRAMANIAM M.1
Institute of Mental Health1
ENDS are noncombustible tobacco products (e.g. e-cigarettes, e-vaporisers), which are increasingly used by smokers as an alternative to conventional cigarettes to aid in smoking cessation, despite scant information on their safety. The objective of the current study is to understand the prevalence, patterns of use, risk perceptions and factors associated with ENDS use in those with mental illness.
This cross-sectional study recruited participants from a tertiary psychiatric care hospital. All the participants (n=380) answered a questionnaire on ENDS.
Around 30% (n=56) of ever smokers (n=184, smokers and past smokers) used ENDs in their lifetime and 3.6% of them were current users. E-vaporisers and e-cigarettes were the most commonly used products and 83.9% (n=47) of those who used ENDS, used it in Singapore. Curiosity (83.9%), availability of different flavours (55.4%), and as a substitute to help in smoking cessation (32.1%) were the top three reasons cited for use of these products. The perception of harm was fair among the participants with 47.9% of non-smokers and 41.8% of ever smokers (smokers and past smokers) being unsure about the addictive potential of ENDS. Age, gender, ethnicity, marital status and clinical diagnosis were associated with ENDS use.
The lifetime prevalence of ENDS use among ever smokers with psychiatric disorders is high, despite the ban on ENDS in Singapore. Smoking cessation programmes should aim to improve the knowledge of the relative harms of ENDS to reduce experimentation of ENDS to minimise adverse health complications.