Georgia Wilson

Georgia is currently undertaking a PhD exploring the factors that act as facilitators and barriers for E-cigarettes for smokers and non-smokers. The PhD is part of a dual scholarship, funded by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). Supervised by Professor Sarah Grogan (MMU), Professor Susan Powell (MMU), Dr Ivan Gee (LJMU), Dr Lorna Porcellato and Dr Joe Keenan (MMU). Georgia also works as a freelance editor for Cactus Communications.

Prior to completing the PhD, Georgia completed a BSc in Psychology and a MSc in research psychology. Her MSc thesis used a mixed-methods sequential explanatory design to explore Breathworks 8-Week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses, she also used to work as a TA on MBSR courses. Her research interests include health psychology, public health and qualitative methods.

E-cigarettes: Factors that act as facilitators and barriers for smokers and non smokers

Presentation link: E-cigarettes: Factors that act as facilitators and barriers for smokers and non smokers

Background: The growth of E-cigarettes (ECs) in the 21st century remains an unfolding phenomenon. Public health reactions vary from fervent support to vigorous resistance as health professionals, academics and politicians attempt to fathom the most appropriate response. Amid the controversy in the social realm and media headlines, individuals make sense of their own reality. The social sciences have made a small dent in delineating features of EC perceptions in the U.K, yet significant gaps remain. It is still unclear how and why accounts of EC differ, particularly among non-smokers. This study aimed to provide an in-depth understanding of the factors that act as facilitators and barriers in regard to E-cigarette use for smokers and non-smokers.

Methods: The study implemented a qualitative approach using an open-ended questionnaire to explore smokers’ and non-smokers’ accounts of ECs to generate initial ideas about attitudes toward ECs which will then be further explored in succeeding research. An inductive thematic analysis revealed four Superordinate themes.

Results: (1) Social Context embodies the social realm surrounding individuals, their experience of ECs, consequently shaping perception. The social context is understandably moulded by (2) Informative Sources – how and where individuals gain their knowledge from and how this influences beliefs. Likewise, (3) Practical Aspects of the device itself, how users and non-users have experienced them and whether their experience was positive or negative. (4) Health Implications of ECs exemplifies both the positive and negative physical effects of ECs and how these compares to CTCs.

Conclusion: The findings highlight there is an array of complex multi-faceted and interconnecting factors that encourage and deter EC use among smokers and non-smokers. This provides valuable information for health professionals, academics and politicians for future research exploration and considerations for the effective regulation of ECs.