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Conflicting Communications about Vape

Study confirms the number mistakenly worried by fictitious ecig dangers is growing.

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Professor Robert West warned last year that the number of current UK smokers believing vaping was as dangerous as smoking had grown. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has reproduced evidence of this mistaken perception across the pond. Professor Linda Bauld is keen that a simple message gets out: “E-cigarettes are still far safer than smoking”.

The Bloomberg School of Public Health is pretty stoked by the findings from its recent investigation. People seeing vaping as less harmful than tobacco smoking fell between 2012 and 2014 – mainly because vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking. But this was bad news for Eric Ford. Fortunately for him the latest figures show it has been well and truly reversed in the States.

Ford is the lead researcher for the Bloomberg study and a professor in the university’s department of health policy and management. He said: “It's a good thing that information about e-cigarettes' possible adverse health effects has gotten out there, especially considering there wasn't a government or public health push during the study years. When misinformation about health effects about any substances becomes widespread, it is usually very hard to reverse the trend. That somehow happened here.”

It’s not surprising the American public have changed their view on vaping, the pharmaceutical industry has been throwing a huge amount of money into smearing the harm reduction revolution. Ford is prepared to concede two things that are knowns: that vaping eradicates the tobacco combustion toxins, and that vaping eliquid “causes popcorn lung”.

Unfortunately for this duplicitous man, the level of diacetyl in vapour is substantially lower than that found in cigarette smoke – oh, and that there hasn’t been a single recorded case of bronchiolitis obliterans caused by an electronic cigarette.

Trends in E-Cigarette Awareness and Perceived Harmfulness in the U.S is just another disgusting attempt to take the truth and twist it into something the anti-harm reduction lobby can use. It will become part of the lexicon used to describe vaping as if people thinking it’s dangerous equates to actual danger.

No wonder Linda Bauld is frustrated. She says: “I’ll say it again: E-cigarettes are still far safer than smoking. Despite evidence suggesting e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking, more people than ever believe them to be just as harmful.”

Bauld continues: “For some people, this year’s quit attempt might involve an electronic cigarette, and a recent study in England, published in the BMJ, suggested that these devices helped at least 18,000 smokers to stop in 2015 who would not otherwise have done so.”

She concludes: “I believe that e-cigarettes have huge potential to save lives by providing an alternative to smoking. Yet this can only be realised if we address negative harm perceptions and communicate honestly with the public.”

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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