US Adults’ Perceptions of the Harmful Effects During Pregnancy of Using Electronic Vapor Products Versus Smoking Cigarettes, Styles Survey, 2015
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US Adults’ Perceptions of the Harmful Effects During Pregnancy of Using Electronic Vapor Products Versus Smoking Cigarettes, Styles Survey, 2015

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      Prev Chronic Dis
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      Research suggests aerosol from electronic vapor products (EVPs) has fewer harmful constituents than conventional cigarette smoke. Even so, EVPs and other nicotine-containing products are not safe to use during pregnancy. We examined perceptions among US adults regarding harm in using EVPs rather than smoking cigarettes during pregnancy.


      Data came from the 2015 Styles Survey, an Internet panel survey of a sample of US adults aged 18 years or older (N = 4,127). Perceived harm was assessed by asking respondents whether using EVPs was less, equally, or more harmful for pregnant women than smoking cigarettes. Descriptive statistics were used to estimate perceived harm overall and by sociodemographic characteristics and tobacco-use status. Perceived harm was assessed among all adults, women of reproductive age (18–44 years, n = 820), and women of nonreproductive age (≥45 years, n = 1,398).


      Among all adults, 11.1% believed using EVPs during pregnancy was less harmful than smoking conventional cigarettes, 51.0% believed it was equally harmful, 11.6% believed it was more harmful, and 26.2% did not know. Prevalence of perception of less harm, by demographic category, was greatest among adults aged 18 to 24 years, men, non-Hispanic whites, adults with less than a high school diploma, current EVP users, and current cigarette smokers (P < .05). Prevalence of perception of less harm was greater among women of reproductive age (9.6%) than among those of nonreproductive age (7.9%) (P < .05).


      US adults have varying levels of perceptions about the harms of EVP use versus cigarette smoking during pregnancy. Efforts are warranted to prevent nicotine exposure during pregnancy and to educate adults on the dangers of using any form of tobacco during pregnancy, including EVPs.

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