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SOVAPE Finds The French Are Misinformed

Research commissioned by SOVAPE reveals that 45% of French adults think that vaping is as dangerous as smoking and 80% believe that nicotine is carcinogenic

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Research commissioned by SOVAPE reveals that 45% of French adults think that vaping is as dangerous as smoking and 80% believe that nicotine is carcinogenic. The survey was undertaken by BVA for ETHRA partner SOVAPE and was released at the “Sommet de la Vape” on Monday.

In the run-up to the Vape Summit took place on October 14 in Paris, the SOVAPE association commissioned a survey in BVA in June to obtain a understanding of the risk perception of vaping compared to smoking. It comes with a question about nicotine. It was anticipated that the investigation would be conducted in early September, so SOVAPE believes it was fortuitous that it was carried out during a moment of great confusion due to the "mysterious disease" in the United States.

3 in 5 people think that vaping is at least as dangerous as smoking

According to the annual barometer published by Public Health France, one in two French (51%) considered vaping as much, or even more harmful than cigarettes, a feeling that increased by 10% between 2014 and 2017. This evolution of risk perception runs contrary to a number of reassuring medical and scientific studies.

According to the survey conducted in September 2019 by BVA:

  • Only 7% of French people know that vaping is much less risky than smoking
  • 25% think that it is little or much less risky
  • 59% think that vaping offers as much risk or is riskier than smoking
  • 15% say they do not know

The survey discovered that 75% of French people are mistaken about the risks of vaping compared to those of smoking.

80% think that nicotine is carcinogenic

SOVAPE said: “BVA also interviewed the panel on the perception of the dangers of nicotine, a crucial component for stopping smoking, present in e-liquids and nicotine substitutes.To the question ‘Do you think that nicotine is carcinogenic?’ 80% of the answers are affirmative. It is however scientifically established and longstanding that this is not the case. The demonization of nicotine, wrongly, reinforces the anxiogenic climate on vaping.”

SOVAPE say that it has got so bad that “French people no longer dare to try vaping to stop smoking.”

The survey also discovered that over the generally dynamic start-up period (+ 15% in 2017 and 2018), Internet "new registrants" fell by around 10%, specialised shops saw their average turnover drop by 20 to 30%, and this decrease mainly focussed on the starter kit segment (devices specifically dedicated for beginner vaper).

SOVAPE reports that the directors of FIVAPE, an independent trade body, say that in 7 years of observation, never has media coverage caused such a large and widespread impact. Even long-term vapers are worried and ask many questions. They also report a very strong distrust of the practice of vaping and nicotine consumption.


  • SOVAPE – [link]
  • Survey report (French) – [link]
  • Sommet de la Vape – [link]
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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