The segment of American adults who consider vapor products to be as harmful, or more harmful than traditional cigarettes has tripled in recent years, signaling a need for better public health education, according to a study conduced by tobacco researchers in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University.
Tobacco Products and Risk Perception surveys conducted during a three-year period beginning in 2012, examined the changes in perceived harm adults in this country felt towards Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), with researchers pouring over data collected from the roughly 16,000 adults who participated.
“35 percent of adult smokers perceived e-cigarettes to be equally or more harmful than combustible cigarettes in 2015,” reads a report published in Science Daily. This is a significant increase over the nearly 12 percent who reported that perception in 2012, the report also reads.
Additionally, the proportion of adult smokers who believed that vapor products were addictive more than doubled to 57 percent in 2015, up from 25 percent in 2012. Similar trends were also observed in adults who were non-smokers.
The study states that these findings “underscore the urgent need to convey accurate information to the public, especially adult smokers, about the available scientific evidence of the harm of e-cigarettes compared to combustible cigarettes.”
“Our public health messages should accurately convey to cigarette smokers that switching completely to e-cigarettes would reduce their risks even if e-cigarettes are addictive and not risk-free,” said one of the study’s authors, Dr. Michael Eriksen, dean of Georgia State’s School of Public Health, and a globally recognized expert in tobacco control.
For more on this story, click here for the Science Daily report.