Conducted by tobacco researchers from Georgia State University’s School of Public Health, the study indicated that just like earlier research which had found an increase in the perceived harm of e-cigarettes relative to cigarettes, between 2012 and 2017, the percentage of adults with this perception is still on the increase.
More specifically, the results indicated that the number of adults who perceived e-cigarettes to be less harmful than cigarettes decreased from 29% in 2017 to 26% in 2018, while the proportion of adults who perceived e-cigarettes to be equally harmful, more harmful, or much more harmful than cigarettes, all increased during that time.
“Smokers who perceive too much risk from e-cigarettes may decide against using them to quit smoking and may instead continue with their combustible smoking habit,” said Amy L. Nyman, lead author of the study and research associate in the School of Public Health. “The increase in perceived harm of electronic cigarettes may reflect growing concerns about the surge in e-cigarette use among young people, and the subsequent media coverage of the teen vaping epidemic.”
Increase in perceived risk linked to EVALI outbreak
Nyman added that the perceived harm of the products may have increased further since 2018, due to the EVALI outbreak in the US. When last month the CDC announced that the infamous EVALI outbreak, is almost certainly linked with the consumption of illegal THC products and not vaping legal nicotine, public health expert Dr. Michael Siegel, had pointed out the importance that policy makers now take the initiative to undo all the damage done by linking the lung disease to vaping.
“At this point, it is time for state policy makers and politicians to immediately discontinue their conflation of this outbreak with the problem of youth e-cigarette use. It is time for all policy makers, health agencies, and health professionals to immediately stop stating or implying that legal, nicotine-containing e-liquids have anything to do with the outbreak.” Sadly, this is still not the case.
Read Further: EurekAlert