No other tobacco harm reduction product (THR) has received stern beating in the public eye as electronic cigarettes. The amount of misinformation and lies about the device is simply mind boggling that people are inclined to consider them as the truth. A new study on the profound ignorance about the basic facts of the potential for tobacco harm reduction confirms how effective these anti-THR lies in misleading the people, particularly the smoking population. The results show the disturbing influence of such fabricated nonsense on public perception that electronic cigarettes are as harmful as combustible cigarettes.
What People Know about Tobacco Products
The study aims to find out if regulations of tobacco products affect people’s perception of risk regarding the products. But, if some sense is put to it, people can’t be expected to think that cigarettes are safer after being regulated by FDA. Just the same, the study wants to present how aware the people are about the risks related to tobacco products including e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. Reading between the lines, FDA wants to assess whether or not its regulations are functioning in reassuring people about tobacco products.
The belatedly published report sourced its data from what the Health Information National Trends Survey has collected from October 2012 to January 2013. Obviously the two-year old data was during the time when about 23 percent of the respondents had never heard of e-cigs. Of those who have knowledge about e-cigs, around 51 percent believes that e-cigs are not as harmful as cigarettes. The rest are the 46 percent who thinks e-cigs are equally harmful and the remaining 3 percent who claims e-cigs to be more harmful.
The results are definitely confusing when you start to think that about half of people with understanding about vaping are also the ones who responded that it’s as harmful as or more harmful than cigarette smoking. Isn’t it a blatant contradiction to what vaping is all about? The long-standing negative campaign against THR products has something to do with the general response that electronic cigarettes have the same harmful effects as cigarettes.
The Damaging Machine of Misinformation
Smokers are responsible in making an informed decision how they should smoke. It includes the choice to use e-cigs as low-risk alternative to smoking. Electronic cigarettes are effective for people who either want to quit smoking or don’t plan to quit. No other options for quitting come nearest to the behavioural elements of smoking than e-cigs.
With all these positive considerations, why would there be groups or sectors discouraging people from using a THR product such as electronic cigarettes? It is, in effect, discouraging people from ultimately saving themselves from the more harmful cigarettes that e-cig users want to escape from. By spouting lies and misinformation about electronic cigarettes, anti-smoking groups are supporting a dangerous habit that slowly kills people.
If anti-tobacco activists are truly concerned about the welfare of the smoking community, they need to reflect on the result of such study. Perhaps they should seriously ask themselves if they are really convinced that electronic cigarettes and smokeless tobacco pose the same health hazards as cigarettes.
Knowing how misinformed the public is about electronic cigarettes can help rectify the situation. The problem is the lack of initiative from the government and big tobacco companies to fund studies to help smokers reduce or quit smoking. In the meantime, the public is practically left on its own to digest which information are worth keeping or meant to be ignored. While doing that, consider taking a second look at the potential of electronic cigarettes to save lives even without FDA approval.