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Original article

Vol. 145 No. 2526 (2015)

Electronic cigarette: use and perceptions among French military nurses in 2013

  • Sébastien Guillet
  • Sébastien Sicard
  • Jean-Baptiste Meynard
  • Aurélie Mayet
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2015;145:w14137


AIMS: Paramedical personnel are exposed to tobacco smoking. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) may be considered as a lower-risk substitute for cigarettes. The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of e-cigarette use, the motives for use and the perceptions among French military nurses.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey, using self-administered questionnaires, was conducted in 2013 among 300 students and instructors of the French school of military paramedical personnel. Prevalences of e-cigarette use among smokers and nonsmokers were compared using logistic regressions adjusted on age and gender.

RESULTS: The prevalence of smoking was 40% among the 200 responders. E-cigarette current use prevalence was 25% (6% daily users), without significant difference according to gender and age. Tobacco smokers reported significantly more e-cigarette current use (51% vs7%). Motives for e-cigarette use reported by smokers were curiosity (48%), intention to reduce tobacco consumption (43%) or to quit smoking (8%). Among users of both tobacco and e-cigarettes, 48% reported a significant decrease in tobacco consumption following e-cigarette initiation (average decrease of 5–10 cigarettes smoked per day; p <0.001). Both tobacco smokers and nonsmokers (88%) estimated that e-cigarette use was potentially harmful for health, but it was perceived as less harmful than tobacco by 46%.

CONCLUSIONS: E-cigarette use among military nurses follows the trends observed in the general population in terms of prevalence and motives. E-cigarettes, which are seen as an attractive alternative to cigarettes, may contribute to a reduction in tobacco use among healthcare workers.


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