Attitudes on e-cigarette use are changing

As more information becomes available regarding electronic cigarettes, more Americans are perceiving them “to be as harmful as regular cigarettes,” according to a survey on health attitudes.

Information was taken from the National Cancer Institute’s Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) and showed changes in attitudes regarding e-cigarettes between 2012 and 2014.  In the earlier surveys about three-fourths of participants knew about e-cigarettes, compared to about 95% in 2014.  In 2012 50.7% of the participants considered them “to be less harmful than regular cigarettes,” while in 2014 that number had dropped to 43.1%.

The authors of the survey noted that e-cigarettes were introduced in the U.S. market in 2007 and while smoking rates were in a decline, e-cigarette use “increased dramatically.”  From 2009 to 2014 “e-cigarette market share for all tobacco products more than doubled each year.”  As the major tobacco companies introduced their own e-cigarette products, the marketing increased, often with the message that “e-cigarettes are safer than combustible cigarettes.”

From each year between 2012 and 2014, the “awareness of e-cigarettes increased from 77.1% in 2012 to 85.4% in 2013 to 94.3% in 2014.”  Respondents with a higher income level or a college education were “more likely to believe” that e-cigarettes were less harmful.

The FDA has recently begun regulations of e-cigarettes believing they “represent a risk to the public.”  It will be interesting to see if the public sides with the FDA or whether they see the devices as less harmful compared to combustible cigarettes.

Click HERE for the entire article.



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