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VTA Releases New Poll Findings

The American public is being grossly misinformed about benefits of e-cigarette use to smokers and low risk of vaping, according to the Vapor Technology Association

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The American public is being grossly misinformed about benefits of e-cigarette use to smokers and low risk of vaping, according to the Vapor Technology Association. The announcement follows new polling data released by KAConsulting, a research organisation led by ex-U.S. presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway. The survey reveals that misinformation being spread from public health institutions is creating significant confusion for the American public.

The Vapor Technology Association says the new polling reveals a significant information

gap in public perception versus reality regarding vaping being an effective tool for adults in

need of smoking cessation and harm reduction alternatives.

The poll is a national online survey of 1,000 registered U.S. voters, including 35% Republicans; 35% Democrats; 16% independents; and 14% unaffiliated.

VTA’s polling sought to better understand the current state of Americans’ knowledge, perceptions, and opinions on e-cigarette use, including perceptions of where vaping lies among other risky behaviours, like smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and smoking marijuana.

The poll confirms what many scientists and academics have lamented for years: The American people are overwhelmingly misinformed by public health institutions, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Centre for Tobacco Products (CTP), on the dramatically lower risks and significant benefit trade-offs of vaping nicotine versus smoking cigarettes, which kill nearly half a million Americans every year.

When provided factual information about e-cigarettes, public perception of vaping skewed from largely negative towards a demonstrable openness around the potential benefits of e-cigarettes, particularly for current smokers. Additionally, the poll demonstrates that Americans, despite their overwhelmingly negative views on e-cigarettes, ranked numerous other behaviours and lifestyle choices, like drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana, as much riskier.

Tony Abboud, executive director of the VTA, said: “The poll that VTA conducted with Kellyanne and her team underscores what we have argued for years: that public health officials and lawmakers must follow the science when it comes to vaping and stop misinforming the public about the benefits and relative risks of e-cigarettes and other non-combustible nicotine products, especially as an effective harm reduction tool for those who currently smoke cigarettes. This watershed polling demonstrates the clear and present danger of this public health misinformation gap that needs to be addressed.”

Kellyanne Conway added: “This poll demonstrates the effect of information underload combined with unaddressed confusion about an issue – the result is chaos. Yet, when Americans are provided accurate information about e-cigarette use, their opinion shifts dramatically. This shows the power of politicized science versus actual science.”

Key findings included in the polling’s results:

  • An overwhelming majority of Americans (84%) have a negative view of vaping nicotine and 78% wrongly believe that vaping nicotine is as or more dangerous than smoking cigarettes.
  • When informed that vaping is more effective than nicotine replacement therapies such a nicotine gums and patches in helping adult smokers quit, 37% of respondents say they are less likely to support a ban.
  • When informed of the United Kingdom’s “Swap to Stop” program of handing out free vaping starter kits to help people stop smoking, 40% of Americans say they would be more likely to support such a program in the U.S.
  • More than half of Americans (53%) say FDA’s rejection of 99% of e-cigarette applications while approving cigarettes over vaping products at a rate of 45 to 1 is unreasonable policy.
  • A majority of Americans (79%) state that banning e-cigarettes would just result in a black market for people to continue buying and selling nicotine vaping products.
  • Half of Americans (49%) say it is unreasonable policy for FDA to use youth vaping as a reason to ban flavored e-cigarettes when FDA also says youth vaping is not an epidemic.
  • More than half (56%) of Americans believe that FDA is making unfair decisions or playing politics about tobacco and vaping and should return to focusing on protecting public health.
  • Only 35% of Americans say FDA should continue on its current path with respect to tobacco and vaping.
  • Vaping nicotine is considered the least dangerous activity (7%) to a person’s life when compared to other activities, like using illegal drugs, not wearing a seatbelt in a car, poor nutrition, and drinking alcohol.

The FDA’s CTP sets tobacco and e-cigarette policy in the U.S. The use of selective science to

justify agenda-driven decisions regarding e-cigarettes or any other less harmful non-combustible product is ultimately dangerous to public health and confusing for millions of

Americans looking to quit smoking. This new data reveals the extent of this confusion and the fact most Americans think that FDA is heading in the wrong direction with its e-

cigarette and tobacco policy.

This polling clearly demonstrates that the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products has been successful in creating confusion around vaping in the U.S., and when provided the facts, the majority of Americans believe that FDA’s current trajectory of banning virtually all e-cigarettes is the wrong policy which is driven by political and not scientific rationale,” concluded Mr. Abboud.

VTA looks forward to working with all regulators to correct the record, get the right information about vaping benefits to American consumers, and help reset the FDA’s skewed agenda on less harmful nicotine products based on science and common-sense solutions.”

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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