Advising Smokers about e-Cigarette Use During Tobacco Cessation Counseling

An important means of providing tobacco cessation advice to smokers is individual behavioral counseling by
trained tobacco cessation counselors, which has been shown to significantly increase rates of long term
cessation. Although electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are not currently approved as a cessation aid, many
smokers have adopted e-cigarettes as a way to reduce and quit smoking cigarettes. The objective of this
Opportunity Fund study is to explore the prevalence of e-cigarette discussions during counseling encounters
and characterize smokers’ understanding of e-cigarettes and tobacco use in-tentions while participating in
smoking cessation counseling with Henry Ford Health System’s (HFHS) Tobacco Intervention Program
(TIP). The Specific Aims are: 1) Explore the prevalence and timing of discussions about e-cigarettes during
the smoking cessation counseling program. 2) Describe the topics related to e-cigarettes that are discussed
during counseling and smokers’ understanding of these topics. Aim 1 will involve counselors recording
whether e-cigarettes were discussed with each smoker at the conclusion of counseling sessions over a
period of one month (March 2016). Data will be analyzed to estimate the prevalence of e-cigarette
discussions in counseling encounters and when they tend to occur. Aim 2 will involve a semi-structured brief
phone interview with 20 smokers within one business day of their initial counseling appointment and analysis
of an audio-recording transcripts of their recent counseling session. The interview will assess participants'
recall of discussing e-cigarettes, understanding of the facts about e-cigarettes, information needs, attitudes
toward quitting, attitudes toward e-cigarette use, quit intentions, and e-cigarette use intentions. The research
team will analyze the audiorecording transcripts for frequency of e-cigarette discussion, topics discussed,
different ways counselors explained about e-cigarettes.This study will provide important preliminary data,
demonstrate the feasibility of the approach, and establish a working relationship between the study team
members to support an R01 application, “Advising smokers about e-cigarette use during tobacco cessation
counseling”, targeted for a June 5, 2016 submission.

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