Clinicians Respond: E-Cigs or Smoking Cessation Meds for an Asthma Patient?

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Two-thirds of PCPs, pulmonologists recommend FDA-approved medications for smokers with asthma
Two-thirds of PCPs, pulmonologists recommend FDA-approved medications for smokers with asthma

HealthDay News — Most primary care physicians and pulmonologists recommend use of U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved smoking cessation medications before use of electronic cigarettes, according to a letter to the editor published online March 2 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Andrew S. Nickels, MD, from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues presented the results of primary care physicians and pulmonary medicine specialists in response to a clinical vignette describing a patient with asthma and ongoing combustible cigarette use who inquired about use of electronic cigarettes as a cessation tool.

The response rate was 43.5% (390 of 896 physicians). The researchers found that 67.5% of the respondents indicated that they would initially recommend trying FDA-approved medications, recommending against electronic cigarettes. For the patient described in the vignette, 18% of respondents recommended electronic cigarettes unconditionally. Even after the patient in the scenario expressed their preference not to use FDA-approved medications, pulmonologists were more likely to recommend against use of electronic cigarettes.

"Clinical guidelines are needed to assist pulmonary physicians and primary care providers in managing what is likely an increasingly common clinical scenario," the authors write.

Abstract
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