Negative perceptions about vaping due to ‘dirty campaigning’
The Government and public health bodies should immediately start a continuous programme to accurately communicate the positive public health message of vaping to smokers.
This is the main goal from the UK Parliamentary report on E-cigarettes released today, State of the Vaping Nation.
‘Public perceptions of harm from e-cigarettes remain inaccurate with only 13% accurately understanding... that e-cigarettes are a lot less harmful than smoking’. The increasingly negative perceptions are attributed in a large part to
'Alarmist headlines often generated off the back of pieces of research with dubious credentials and a lack of scientific rigour’
Professor Hajek from Queen Mary University of London writes in the report about the ‘misleading portrayal of vaping by the media and by some anti-vaping activists’.
He says, ‘Many of the research pieces that made the headlines are often sensationalist, based on short-term data or unrealistic circumstances and in many cases did not compare vaping with smoking. The misinformation is based on several standard and repeated ‘tricks’:
- Any presence of chemicals is interpreted as posing a danger even if the levels are negligible with no possible impact on human health.
- Results achieved with exposing cells and animals to large concentrations of potential toxins are presented as if this was relevant to human vaping, while comparisons to cigarette smoke, which is invariably much more toxic under the same conditions, are avoided.
- One-off trials of e-cigarettes by youths are presented as ‘regular use’; and the fact that the same types of adolescents try both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes is presented as a proof that vaping leads to smoking.’
This type of ‘dirty campaigning’ has heavily influenced European regulators and … even more alarmingly, the assertions on risks are also putting smokers off the switch to vaping’, Professor Hajek says in the report.
Full report available here:
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