|motivation||public health communication|
It's scientific consensus that e-cigarettes are the lesser evil, by a wide margin. The popular PHE/RCP meta study estimates the remaining risk from vaping 95% below combustible cigarettes. The toxicological cancer risk even 99.5% reduced.
But risk perceptions on e-cigarettes have been completely perverted by anti-vaping FUD. A majority of current smokers now falsely believes that smoking carries the lesser harm. Even doctors are susceptible to disinformation campaigns.
A disinformed public can't make sane health choices.
BfR monitor 2019
German federal bureau of risk assessment (BfR) report from 2019 already reveals shocking misperceptions. In particular among current smokers, whom this poses a probable deterrant to even attempt the switch to less toxic alternatives. And this was even before the [EVALI] FUD campaign.
ASH report on e-cigarette usage in GB
Shows a light recovery from EVALI disinformation, but still almost a third of smokers believing that smoking was equally or less harmful.
HINTS survey 2020 in the US
Clive Bates concludes in E-cigarette risk perceptions – an American crime scene that nearly 90% of American adults now believe that combustible tobacco is no more or less risky than nicotine vaporizers.
dog bites battery
Exploding e-cigarettes is one of the common tropes popularized by sensationalist media (whilst ignoring the dozens of smoking-induced house fires each day). It's sort of understandable, for the rarity and thus newsworthiness. But it gets parroted and exaggerated by anti-vaping activsts with obscene frequency.
Same for EVALI, which second-hand journalists ran with. Thus reinforcing smokers to abandon any current quit attempts with e-cigarettes.
doctors wholly misinformed about nicotine being carcinogenic
The disinformation campaigns around vaping has also affected doctors. Might also be partially explained by the trivialization/redeclaration of tobacco addiction as nicotine addiction.
- "Alarmingly high" number of US doctors think nicotine causes cancer
- More than 80% of doctors tthink nicotine causes cancer
Astroturf consequences for teenagers
Adolescents are less susceptible to blatant disinformation, even if directed at them (Truth/FDA ads correlate with teen curiosity & use). But they bear the outfall of stoked drug panics:
- Black teen facing taser over vaping ban
- Alabama high school removes bathroom stall doors to stop vaping
- Suring High School strip search incident
- Brutal arrest: special needs student battered over vaping
It's not clear if these are unintended consequences for sabotaging smoking cessation, or desired outcomes of the pathologic US youth puritanism.