2023 Volume 33 Issue 9 Pages 441-449
Background: New tobacco products, particularly heated tobacco products (HTPs), have been introduced across several international markets as alternatives to combustible products, such as cigarettes. However, there are limited studies on physicians’ perceptions of HTPs. This study analyzes the awareness of HTPs among physicians and assesses their concerns and attitudes toward patients using HTPs.
Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was sent to a sample of 7,500 member physicians (6,000 male and 1,500 female) from the Japan Medical Association (JMA). The smoking status of physicians was categorized as never smokers, ever HTP smokers, current HTP smokers, and ever and current smokers of other products. Physicians’ awareness and attitudes toward patients using HTPs were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The correlation between the outcomes was examined using logistic regression models, whereas physicians’ concerns about HTPs were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Results: Data were obtained from 5,492 physicians (21.9% women; aged 60.4; standard deviation, 12.1 years) with a response rate of 74.6%. Overall, 76.7% of the physicians had awareness of HTP, and about half of whom asked patients about using HTPs. Physicians who took longer to discuss cessation were more likely to discourage patient use. Smoking status was associated with discouraging HTP use in patients. Physicians who had experience with HTP use were primarily concerned about the products’ long-term safety and less about product regulation.
Conclusion: Japanese physicians do not have sufficient information and knowledge about HTPs. Therefore, evidence-based guidelines are required to support physicians in advising patients against HTP use.