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French Misunderstand Vaping Danger

A survey conducted by the French National Cancer Institute has discovered that almost 80% mistakenly believe that vaping causes cancer

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A survey conducted by the French National Cancer Institute has discovered that almost 80% mistakenly believe that vaping causes cancer. The study sought the views from almost 5000 people who almost all knew what an electronic cigarette is. The works highlights the need for improved information campaigns across the European continent.

The study findings:

The electronic cigarette: an object of controversy

Since 2010, electronic cigarettes have presented themselves as alternatives to traditional cigarettes. Nevertheless, electronic cigarettes are at the heart of several controversies, concerning their impact on health, the trajectory of its users, its potential for renormalization of smoking and therefore of smoking.

It is important to analyse perceptions in detail to better understand uses and define public strategies for prevention and intervention.

Analysis of perceptions of electronic cigarettes: what method?

The survey was carried out on a representative sample of 4,938 people. Depending on the questions and sub-samples, the number of respondents to questions about e-cigarettes ranged from 4,595 to 2,292 people between the ages of 15 and 75.

A good knowledge of the electronic cigarette and a developing use

It appears that 99.6% of participants said they were aware of electronic cigarettes. More than a third have tried them, including men, young people, smokers and ex-smokers, as well as people without activity or living in large cities.

The prevalence of current use of electronic cigarettes is 7.5% of the population, an increase of 2.1% compared to 2020 data. Among electronic cigarette users, a large majority declares use to modify their smoking habits, 48% of them with the aim of quitting smoking.

A negative perception of electronic cigarettes

Respondents have a negative perception of electronic cigarettes. A third believe that they are very or even extremely harmful to health (respectively 18.5% and 10.3%), especially women and people over 55 years of age. Electronic cigarettes are also mostly perceived as much or even more harmful than traditional cigarettes (respectively 41.4% and 11.5%). Finally, they are perceived as less harmful by smokers and people with a higher level of income or diplomas.

The components of electronic cigarettes are also perceived as rather harmful: more than a third believe that the nicotine that may be contained in them is very or extremely harmful; and less than 28% declare flavourings as very or extremely harmful, including young people in particular.

The electronic cigarette: a carcinogenic device?

Regarding the perception of electronic cigarettes as a risk factor for cancer, a third of respondents are certain of this proposition and more than 46% tend to agree that it can cause cancer; more than a third completely agree on the idea that the nicotine contained can be carcinogenic; and half of respondents say flavourings are a possible cause of cancer.


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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