Views and preferences for nicotine products as an alternative to smoking: a focus group study of people living with mental disorders

Meurk, Carla, Ford, Pauline, Sharma, Ratika, Fitzgerald, Lisa and Gartner, Coral (2016) Views and preferences for nicotine products as an alternative to smoking: a focus group study of people living with mental disorders. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13 11: . doi:10.3390/ijerph13111166


Author Meurk, Carla
Ford, Pauline
Sharma, Ratika
Fitzgerald, Lisa
Gartner, Coral
Title Views and preferences for nicotine products as an alternative to smoking: a focus group study of people living with mental disorders
Journal name International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1660-4601
1661-7827
Publication date 2016-11-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3390/ijerph13111166
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 13
Issue 11
Total pages 18
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publisher M D P I AG
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Aims and Background: People living with mental disorders experience a disproportionately higher burden of tobacco-related disease than the general population. Long-term substitution with less harmful nicotine products could reduce the tobacco-related harm among this population. This study investigated the views and preferences of people with mental health disorders about different nicotine products and their use as long-term substitutes for cigarettes.

Methods: Semi-structured focus group discussion followed by a brief questionnaire. The discussion transcripts were analysed for content and themes and quantitative data summarised with descriptive statistics.

Results: Twenty-nine participants took part in four focus groups. Vaping devices were the most acceptable nicotine products discussed; however preferences for nicotine products were individual and varied along aesthetic, pragmatic, sensory and symbolic dimensions. The concept of tobacco harm reduction was unfamiliar to participants, however they generally agreed with the logic of replacing cigarettes with less harmful nicotine products. Barriers to activating tobacco harm reduction included the symbolism of smoking and quitting; the importance placed on health; the consumer appeal of alternatives; and cost implications.

Discussion and Conclusions: Engaging this population in tobacco harm reduction options will require communication that challenges black and white thinking (a conceptual framework in which smoking cigarettes or quitting all nicotine are the only legitimate options) as in practice this serves to support the continuance of smoking. Consumers should be encouraged to trial a range of nicotine products to find the most acceptable alternative to smoking that reduces health harms. Providing incentives to switch to nicotine products could help overcome barriers to using less harmful nicotine products among mental health consumers.
Keyword Nicotine products
Tobacco harm reduction
People living with mental illness
Qualitative research
Consumer preferences
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Open access manuscript available at http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/13/11/1166/html

 
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Created: Wed, 23 Nov 2016, 21:22:13 EST by Coral Gartner on behalf of School of Public Health