80% of Doctors Mistakenly Blame Nicotine For Smoking Risks

80% of Doctors Mistakenly Blame Nicotine For Smoking Risks
"Physicians must understand the actual risk of nicotine use as they are critical in the prescription and recommendation of FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy products to help patients who use other dangerous forms of tobacco," says Michael B. Steinberg.
(Credit: عبدالرحمن بن سلمه/Flickr)

Most physicians mistakenly believe that nicotine leads to cancer and heart and respiratory diseases, according to a new national survey.

The toxic substances in cigarette smoke and not nicotine cause the primary health risk.

Researchers surveyed more than 1,000 doctors from several specialties between September 2018 and February 2019 about their knowledge of tobacco use and found that 80% of those surveyed believe it is the nicotine that directly causes cancer.

“Physicians must understand the actual risk of nicotine use as they are critical in the prescription and recommendation of FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy products to help patients who use other dangerous forms of tobacco,” says Michael B. Steinberg, medical director of the Rutgers Center for Tobacco Studies and a professor and chief of the division of general internal medicine at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

“Doctors should be able to accurately communicate these risks, which may include low-nicotine cigarettes, which are not safer than traditional cigarettes.”

As reported in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the survey asked physicians in specialties that included family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology, pulmonary and critical care, and hematology and oncology about their understanding of tobacco treatment practices, harm reduction beliefs, and tobacco and e-cigarette use.

Although nicotine’s primary risk is addiction or dependence on tobacco products, researchers found that 83% of doctors strongly believe that it directly contributes to heart disease.


 Get The Latest From InnerSelf


In comparison, 81% thought it contributes to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Pulmonologists, who focus on the respiratory system, were less likely than other specialties to misperceive nicotine as a direct contributor to COPD.

Family doctors were more likely than oncologists to misunderstand nicotine as a cancer-causing substance.

Less than one-third of the doctors surveyed correctly agreed that nicotine directly contributes to birth defects, while 30% did not answer the question, indicating they did not know the answer. Younger and female doctors were more likely than males to perceive correct risks causing birth defects, while OB/GYNs surprisingly misidentified them more than other specialties.

In the United States, an estimated 34 million people smoke cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Nicotine replacement therapies include over-the-counter products like patches, gum, and lozenges, as well as prescription medications.

“Correcting misperceptions in medicine should be a priority given the FDA’s proposed nicotine-centered framework that includes reducing nicotine content in cigarettes to non-addictive levels while encouraging safer forms of nicotine like NRT, to help with smoking cessation or non-combustible tobacco, like smokeless tobacco for harm reduction,” says Cristine Delnevo, director of the Rutgers Center for Tobacco Studies and professor at the Rutgers School of Public Health.

Researchers recommend brief communication interventions that can effectively correct such nicotine misperceptions among doctors and the general public. - Original Study


Recommended Books: Health

Fresh Fruit CleanseFresh Fruit Cleanse: Detox, Lose Weight and Restore Your Health with Nature's Most Delicious Foods [Paperback] by Leanne Hall.
Lose weight and feel vibrantly healthy while clearing your body of toxins. Fresh Fruit Cleanse offers everything you need for an easy and powerful detox, including day-by-day programs, mouth-watering recipes, and advice for transitioning off the cleanse.
Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.

Thrive FoodsThrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health [Paperback] by Brendan Brazier.
Building upon the stress-reducing, health-boosting nutritional philosophy introduced in his acclaimed vegan nutrition guide Thrive, professional Ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier now turns his attention to your dinner plate (breakfast bowl and lunch tray too).
Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.

Death by Medicine by Gary NullDeath by Medicine by Gary Null, Martin Feldman, Debora Rasio and Carolyn Dean
The medical environment has become a labyrinth of interlocking corporate, hospital, and governmental boards of directors, infiltrated by the drug companies. The most toxic substances are often approved first, while milder and more natural alternatives are ignored for financial reasons. It's death by medicine.
Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.


 
enafarzh-CNzh-TWnltlfifrdehiiditjakomsnofaptruessvtrvi

follow InnerSelf on

facebook-icontwitter-iconrss-icon

 Get The Latest By Email

{emailcloak=off}

FROM THE EDITORS

InnerSelf Newsletter: October 18, 2020
by InnerSelf Staff
These days we are living in mini-bubbles... in our own homes, at work, and in public, and possibly in our own mind and with our own emotions. However, living in a bubble, or feeling like we are…
InnerSelf Newsletter: October 11, 2020
by InnerSelf Staff
Life is a journey and, as most journeys, comes with its ups and downs. And just like day always follows night, so do our personal daily experiences go from dark to light, and back and forth. However,…
InnerSelf Newsletter: October 4, 2020
by InnerSelf Staff
Whatever we are going through, both individually and collectively, we must remember that we are not helpless victims. We can reclaim our power to carve our own path and to heal our lives, spiritually…
InnerSelf Newsletter: September 27, 2020
by InnerSelf Staff
One of the great strength of the human race is our ability to be flexible, to be creative, and to think outside the box. To be someone other than we were yesterday or the day before. We can change...…
What Works For Me: "For The Highest Good"
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
The reason I share "what works for me" is that it may work for you as well. If not exactly the way I do it, since we are all unique, some variance of the attitude or method may very well be something…