BackgroundRecently, electronic cigarette (e-cig) usage has increased significantly, making it a potentially effective smoking cessation tool. In Muslim countries, most people who use e-cigarettes fast the month of Ramadan, which results in intermittent fasting. This study aims to reveal the severity of e-cig withdrawal symptoms among users during this intermittent fasting period.
MethodsA self-administered survey was developed and validated to solicit anonymous responses from e-cig users living in Jordan, through a cross-sectional study design. Participants were recruited through social media resources. Severity scores of physical (out of 11) and psychological (out of 8) withdrawal symptoms for each participant were assessed and calculated for each participant, depending on the symptoms reported.
ResultsA convenience sample (n?=?523) of e-cig adult users were recruited. The majority of the participants were males (96.4%) aged between 18 and 40 years (86.4%). Many participants replaced tobacco smoking with e-cig (53.5%) in order to help them stop smoking. More than half of the participants experienced relatively weak physical (0.82?±?1.78) and psychological (1.24?±?1.89) withdrawal symptoms during the month of fasting. Most of the participants (63.2%) preferred to engage themselves with a busy schedule to tolerate the related withdrawal symptoms they experienced.
ConclusionE-cigs could play a vital role in smoking cessation among tobacco smokers during intermittent fasting. Ramadan offers a good opportunity for smokers to quit, as the reported physical and psychological e-cig withdrawal symptoms were found to be relatively weak. Awareness and behavioral interventions would help clarify the effect of e-cigs and help determine alternative ways to cease smoking.
SUBMITTER: Barakat MM