In line with data compiled by previous surveys, a recent poll indicated that sadly the majority of Americans are still misinformed about the relative benefits of e-cigarettes. The majority think that vaping is as bad for one’s health as smoking, if not worse.
The research was conducted by Rasmussen, a national polling organization that collects public opinion samples on political, commercial, and lifestyle topics. The poll which was released last August, collected data from 1,000 U.S. adults online or by telephone. The researchers asked the following two questions:
- Is smoking electronic cigarettes more safe or less safe than smoking traditional cigarettes, or is the health risk about the same?
- Do you favor or oppose the smoking of electronic cigarettes in public places?
The majority believe that e-cigs are as deadly as cigarettes
The key findings were as follows:
- 50% of Americans believe vaping is no safer than smoking cigarettes
- 13% believe vaping is less safe than smoking
- 20% believe vaping is safer than smoking
- 17% are unsure which is safer
These numbers, despite perhaps not surprising, are alarming, as they give us an indication as to how many lives are being lost to misinformation. Many public health experts, have been repeatedly pointing out that the spread of inaccurate and alarming statements by authority figures, such as the former Surgeon General, have contributed to the spreading of such inaccurate information. Lawmakers have been repeatedly urged to refer to scientific data and release corrective statements accordingly.
UK MPs strive to educate the public
On the other hand, data from the UK where local authorities have been at the forefront of the battle against the current misinformation on e-cigarettes, indicate that most smokers are aware that switching to vaping would improve their health. A recent survey by local charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), has indicated that in fact the number of vapers in the UK has topped three million, four times the figure recorded in 2012.
Read Further: Rasmussen Reports