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Fight Vaping Misinformation

Smoke Free Sweden has called upon policymakers to fight vaping misinformation and work to correct the growing levels of misunderstanding

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Smoke Free Sweden is urging policymakers to take urgent action on vaping misinformation to correct the growing levels of misunderstanding. New research has shown that the majority of smokers in England wrongly believe vapes are as harmful as cigarettes. Year on year this situation has been getting worse and caused ASH UK to speak out about it a year ago.

The research, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, looked at survey responses from 28,000 current smokers between 2014 and 2023 and found that 57% thought vaping was just as harmful as smoking or more so, despite numerous public health authorities finding vaping to be dramatically reduced in risk.

The research also highlights the fact that e-cigarettes are effective in helping people to stop smoking and are less harmful than combustible cigarettes.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Delon Human, leader of the Smoke-Free Sweden initiative and former Health Advisor to three WHO Director-Generals, said: “This data is alarming and flies in the face of the available evidence. The risks associated with e-cigarettes are much lower than the risks of smoking. 

“If policymakers do not act, there may be severe consequences for public health. The Swedish experience has shown us that if presented with the correct information, smokers can and do make the switch to less harmful alternative products.”

Sweden is on the cusp of becoming the first EU country to record a 5% smoking incidence, the official ‘smoke-free’ threshold set out by the World Health Organization, thanks to the use of less harmful alternatives to smoking. Thanks to the high uptake of alternative products, smoking rates have dropped by 55% in the past decade.

As a result, Sweden has 44% fewer tobacco-related deaths, a cancer rate that is 41% lower, and 38% fewer deaths attributable to any cancer when compared with its EU counterparts. 

About Smoke-Free Sweden

Smoke-Free Sweden is a campaign that encourages other countries to follow the Swedish model when it comes to Tobacco Harm Reduction. Sweden is about to become the first ‘smoke-free’ European country, with a smoking rate of below 5 percent. The people behind the organisation say this is a remarkable achievement and can be attributed to Sweden’s open attitude towards alternative products.


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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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