I am adding functionality to incorporate E-Cigarettes into our EMR. Currently, a user may select from a variety of drop-down lists that allow them to choose the amount smoked, cartridge size, cartridge unit, how often they smoke, and how many years they have smoked. The values from these drop down lists are then displayed in an encounter note to be used later. Currently, text is displayed similar to the following:

Smokes 0.75 8 mg cartridges a day for 2 years.

The problem I face is that the amount smoked and cartridge size (0.75 8 mg) are adjacent to each other and may be difficult to differentiate or may be misunderstood. What would be a clearer way to display this information so that it is not misread? I appreciate any and all feedback, thanks!

  • how accurate does it need to be? Maybe you can go to words.. Less than half, about half, more than half.
    – bdimag
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 21:14
  • That is an idea that I had considered. Currently, the wording for smoking typical cigarettes and chewing tobacco appears similar to above (Chews .5 cans a day for 2 years) and I would not like to differentiate too much from that. This will also be used for claims sent to insurance companies so the wording should be as accurate as possible. Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 21:19
  • are there options for size of cartridge? maybe that get's move to the right in parentheses: Smokes .75 cartridges (8 mg) a day for 2 years
    – bdimag
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 21:20
  • Yes, the cartridges can range in size and measurement (8mg, 8ml, 15%). I feel that the parenthesis approach makes it appear as an amount they smoke as opposed to the cartridge size though. Making it appear that they smoke 8mg of nicotine total. Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 21:23

1 Answer 1


Would this be any good:

0.75 Cartridges (8 mg each) smoked a day for 2 years.

I think the parenthesis approach is really good as it provides a visual break though your concern was right.

  • Yep, this is the answer I went with. Changed it slightly to say "Smokes 0.75 Cartridges (8 mg each) a day for 2 years". Thank you for your response Aditya! Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 16:15
  • Glad to know it was useful... Most Welcome Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 4:25

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