All serious recent studies are unambiguous in their conclusions: electronic cigarettes are far less harmful to health compared to tobacco products. The science is clear, vaping rather than smoking drastically reduces the risk of contracting cancer or heart disease. And yet, the majority of the population, in particular in the USA, simply do not trust electronic cigarettes and associated products. Where does this suspicion come from?
The USA in particular seems to seriously misunderstand the concept of vaping products and nicotine substitution therapies. A study covering a sample of 3,495 individuals revealed that only 2.6% of Americans, or 1 out of every 38 people, believe that vaping is less dangerous than smoking. Worse still, 3.8% stated that vaping products were more harmful than cigarettes. And finally, a majority believed that e-cigarettes and tobacco presented more or less the same risk. The situation is even more alarming given its evolution: in 2012, 38% of the population believed that vaping was safer than smoking, while the rate dropped to 17% in 2018.
Disinformation at the heart of the issue
The results of this survey, organised by Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), may come as a surprise to those who have done their research. Consumers today are heavily influenced by pro-tobacco lobbies. And in addition to this, publicly available research is not always well broadcast to keep the public informed of progress in the fight against smoking. And as a cherry on top is that the press is often quick to relay alarmist statements on the subject of vaping.
The situation in the UK is slightly different—at least at first glance. A survey of 1,750 participants dated September 2017 revealed that 57.3% of the sample believed that vaping was safer than tobacco. However in 2012, the percentage was measured at 66.6%, which proves that both the UK and the USA are growing increasingly wary of vaping.
This despite the fact that in the UK, public health authorities have a positive view of e-cigs as a smoking cessation tool. As stated, recent scientific research supports this perspective: vaping is provably healthier than smoking.