Nav: Home

US smokers don't believe vaping is less harmful than smoking

June 14, 2018

Warsaw, June 15th - A growing proportion of U.S. adults do not believe that e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking, according to an analysis of the U.S. Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study data from 2013 to 2015 presented today at the fifth Global Forum on Nicotine conference.

The analysis of the latest PATH data (a national longitudinal study of tobacco use among youth and adults in the USA) suggests that the proportion of adult current smokers who believed e-cigarettes were just as, or more, harmful than smoking increased substantially from 43% in 2013 to 57% in 2015.

"It's concerning that despite a growing body of scientific evidence* that vaping is less harmful than smoking, smokers who may benefit from switching to e-cigarettes are not getting the message," said Dr Grant O'Connell, Corporate Affairs Manager at Fontem Ventures, who led the analysis.

In the wider adult population (including non-smokers) the perception was even more skewed with the analysis showing the proportion of the adult population believing that e-cigarettes were as harmful, or more harmful, than smoking increasing from 54% in 2013 to 65% in 2015.

A recent global survey from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World¹, found that among U.S. adult smokers in 2017, 45% believed e-cigarettes were as harmful as or more harmful than conventional cigarettes. Moreover, U.S. consumers believed that using nicotine every day was more dangerous than drinking every day, and that nicotine itself, rather than smoking, was a cause of lung cancer, throat cancer, and heart disease.

"These misperceptions need to be urgently addressed and policy makers should aim to assess why the relative harm of e-cigarettes compared with smoking is misunderstood. In particular, they should focus on how scientific studies are reported to the public," said Dr O'Connell.
-end-
Find the results of our analysis of the PATH data

*Findings from several recent clinical studies have shown that smokers who have made the switch to e-cigarettes have significantly lower exposure to carcinogens and toxicants found in cigarette smoke, with reductions largely indistinguishable from complete smoking cessation or use of licensed nicotine replacement products. These include:

O'Connell, G., D. W. Graff and C. D. D'Ruiz (2016). "Reductions in biomarkers of exposure (BoE) to harmful or potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) following partial or complete substitution of cigarettes with electronic cigarettes in adult smokers." Toxicol Mech Methods: 1-12.

Goniewicz, M. L., M. Gawron, D. M. Smith, M. Peng, P. Jacob and N. L. Benowitz (2016). "Exposure to Nicotine and Selected Toxicants in Cigarette Smokers Who Switched to Electronic Cigarettes: A Longitudinal Within-Subjects Observational Study." Nicotine & Tobacco Research. 19(2): 160-167.

Shahab, L., M. L. Goniewicz, B. C. Blount and et al. (2017). "Nicotine, carcinogen, and toxin exposure in long-term e-cigarette and nicotine replacement therapy users: A cross-sectional study." Annals of Internal Medicine. 166(6):390-400.

¹The State of Smoking 2018: Global Survey Findings and Insights. Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. Available online: https://www.smokefreeworld.org/sites/default/files/uploads/derek-yach-press-conferencepresentation.pdf

Fontem Ventures

Related Smoking Articles:

Smoking rates falling in adults, but stroke survivors' smoking rates remain steady
While the rate of Americans who smoke tobacco has fallen steadily over the last two decades, the rate of stroke survivors who smoke has not changed significantly.
What is your risk from smoking? Your network knows!
A new study from researchers at Penn's Annenberg School for Communication found that most people, smokers and non-smokers alike, were nowhere near accurate in their answers to questions about smoking's health effects.
Want to quit smoking? Partner up
Kicking the habit works best in pairs. That's the main message of a study presented today at EuroPrevent 2019, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
Smoking and mortality in Asia
In this analysis of data from 20 studies conducted in China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and India with more than 1 million participants, deaths associated with smoking continued to increase among men in Asia grouped by the years in which they were born.
Predictors of successfully quitting smoking among smokers registered at the quit smoking clinic at a public hospital in northeastern Malaysia
In the current issue of Family Medicine and Community Health, Nur Izzati Mohammad et al. consider how cigarette smoking is one of the risk factors leading to noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular and respiratory system diseases and cancer.
Restaurant and bar smoking bans do reduce smoking, especially among the highly educated
Smoking risk drops significantly in college graduates when they live near areas that have completely banned smoking in bars and restaurants, according to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
How the UK smoking ban increased wellbeing
Married women with children reported the largest increase in well-being following the smoking bans in the UK in 2006 and 2007 but there was no comparable increase for married men with children.
Smoking study personalizes treatment
A simple blood test is allowing Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) researchers to determine which patients should be prescribed varenicline (Chantix) to stop smoking and which patients could do just as well, and avoid side effects, by using a nicotine patch.
A biophysical smoking gun
While much about Alzheimer's disease remains a mystery, scientists do know that part of the disease's progression involves a normal protein called tau, aggregating to form ropelike inclusions within brain cells that eventually strangle the neurons.
A case where smoking helped
A mutation in the hemoglobin of a young woman in Germany was found to cause her mild anemia.
More Smoking News and Smoking Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 3: Shared Immunity
More than a million people have caught Covid-19, and tens of thousands have died. But thousands more have survived and recovered. A week or so ago (aka, what feels like ten years in corona time) producer Molly Webster learned that many of those survivors possess a kind of superpower: antibodies trained to fight the virus. Not only that, they might be able to pass this power on to the people who are sick with corona, and still in the fight. Today we have the story of an experimental treatment that's popping up all over the country: convalescent plasma transfusion, a century-old procedure that some say may become one of our best weapons against this devastating, new disease.   If you have recovered from Covid-19 and want to donate plasma, national and local donation registries are gearing up to collect blood.  To sign up with the American Red Cross, a national organization that works in local communities, head here.  To find out more about the The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, which we spoke about in our episode, including information on clinical trials or plasma donation projects in your community, go here.  And if you are in the greater New York City area, and want to donate convalescent plasma, head over to the New York Blood Center to sign up. Or, register with specific NYC hospitals here.   If you are sick with Covid-19, and are interested in participating in a clinical trial, or are looking for a plasma donor match, check in with your local hospital, university, or blood center for more; you can also find more information on trials at The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. And lastly, Tatiana Prowell's tweet that tipped us off is here. This episode was reported by Molly Webster and produced by Pat Walters. Special thanks to Drs. Evan Bloch and Tim Byun, as well as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.