The latest data from leading public health charity Action on Smoking and Health shows four in ten adult smokers in Great Britain wrongfully believe vaping is as or more harmful than smoking.
There have been a lot of stories in the media which have contributed to a misunderstanding about the reduced risk potential of e-cigarettes and it’s clear more needs to be done to communicate the power of vaping as a less harmful alternative to one of the world’s biggest killers – smoking.
Speaking on misperceptions about vaping, Professor Peter Hajek of Queen Mary University of London said: “E-cigarettes are a major breakthrough in public health. They are helping smokers quit on an unprecedented scale and help substantially with eliminating smoking-related cancer, heart disease and lung disease.
“The progress would be faster though if media did not consistently promote misinformed stories that put smokers off moving over to vaping. A correction to this trend is urgently needed.”
Individual brands and industry professionals can help correct misperceptions by pointing consumers to vaping resources, such as the UKVIA’s ‘Vaping to Quit Smoking’ guide, and highlighting the growing library of research which supports e-cigarettes as a lifesaving smoking cessation tool.
They should also ensure they are only stocking, manufacturing and distributing compliant products and are sticking to the letter of the law when it comes to vape advertising and the legal purchasing age – the vast majority of the industry is already doing this, but there is sadly a minority of irresponsible traders who are bringing the sector down.