Public Attitudes Worsen

Posted 30th October 2019 by Dave Cross
The Kaiser Family Foundation is an American organisation concerned about U.S. health issues the nation’s role in global health policy. It has released a report where it claims over half of the American public would now support an eliquid flavour ban and that 1 in 5 non-smoking teens now use flavoured ecigs.

Clearly biased at the outset, its findings are still troubling for tobacco harm reduction advocates. The authors write: “With more than 1,000 lung injuries and two dozen deaths nationally associated with vaping and e-cigarettes, a new KFF poll finds a narrow majority (52%) of the public supports a ban on the sale of fruit- and other flavoured e-cigarettes, while 44% oppose it.”

Worse, they claim that 49% of those responding to the survey supported a total ban on vaping.

The attitudes have been informed by the gross over-reaction of the Trump administration, Massachusetts, Michigan, Utah and other state and local governments seeking to limit or ban the sale of vape products.

  • 80% of Americans say they have heard at least something about illnesses related to e-cigarettes and vaping
  • 69% say they have heard at least something about state and local efforts to limit sales
  • 81% believe teenagers who would otherwise not smoke cigarettes are using flavoured e-cigarettes
  • Just 31% of adults say they believe e-cigarettes are a safer alternative for tobacco smokers who are trying to quit

Those who view vaping as a safer alternative for cigarette smoking are generally the same as those who oppose bans – but 22% of vapers apparently support bans according to the KFF, and 32% are happy to see flavour restrictions!

The report provides just three links to external information: the dated and flawed October report from the CDC about the reasons for the lung disease outbreaks, a New York Times article on how vaping has failed to be adequately regulated for ten years, and something from Associated Press about JUUL Labs making claims that vaping is safer than smoking.

Foundation for a Smoke-free World’s Charles Gardner said the report was a “fascinating look at the appalling impact of anti-vaping misinformation.”

Whatever the figures, it remains true that the sensationalist manner America is dealing with harm reduction is having a dire impact on smokers and vapers around the world. What kind of impact? “People are smoking cigarettes again amid vaping-related panic,” writes this week’s New York Post [link].

“Within the people I hang out with, there was a point where most of us were Juuling, and now most of us are back to cigarettes,” 20-year-old Delilah Cravens tells The Post.

“When you lie to the public, it usually works. The great achievements for American Public Health,” commented Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos.

Related:

  • “Public Views on Vaping and E-Cigarettes” by Lopes, Hamel, Kearney, and Brodie – [link]
  • Kaiser Family Foundation – [link]

Images from the KFF report [link]


 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker