WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new poll from the Boston Globe and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that most Americans are uninformed or hold outright wrong beliefs about the risks of vapor products and electronic cigarettes. This has the American Vaping Association, a leading advocate for the benefits of reduced harm nicotine and non-nicotine products, calling on the purported ‘public health’ groups responsible for creating these warped risk perceptions to begin undoing the damage.
Of the 1,014 respondents, just 44% reported that they accurately believed vapor products to be less harmful than tobacco smoking. Meanwhile, 32% and 6% inaccurately believe they are just as harmful or more harmful, respectively, and 14% could not answer the question. The poll also found that 64% believe that taxing vapor products the same as tobacco cigarettes is good public policy, while 32% oppose such measures. Additionally, 48% of respondents oppose banning flavors in vapor products, while 46% indicated support.
“Let’s be clear — there is no doubt in the scientific community that vaping is far less hazardous than inhaling burning tobacco smoke. The fact that more than half of the American population can’t answer this question accurately is a scandal,” says Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association.
“The immense level of spending of public dollars we see going towards creating unethical propaganda campaigns naturally results in a confused populace,” continued Conley. “This poll is not measuring public opinion, but the effectiveness of a well-funded corporate strategy to destroy a category that is eroding a cash cow for Big Pharma. Executives at GSK and Pfizer are surely smiling at the results of this poll, as it shows that their multi-million dollar donations to purported ‘public health’ groups are not going to waste.”
Not surprisingly, the anti-tobacco movement does not seem concerned about the inaccurate risk perceptions that they’ve helped create. When contacted for comment by the Boston Globe, a spokesman for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids did not lament that erroneous perceptions of risk are bad for public health. Instead, he pivoted and pretended that this poll shows that Americans support the FDA’s proposal to ‘regulate’ vapor products.
“The FDA’s proposal would decimate the industry and lead to over 99.9% of vapor products being banned. That is prohibition, not reasonable regulation. If these groups cared about health, they’d be exposing the truth about the FDA’s regulation.”
On the non-controversial side, overwhelming numbers of Americans believe in common sense regulations, with 90% believing only adults should be able to purchase e-cigarettes and 94% believing that products containing nicotine should be labeled as such.
“A recent CDC poll found that over 20% of Americans who have quit smoking in the last year are using vapor products. The number of recent quitters could be much larger if it wasn’t for dishonest and unethical campaign tactics that seek to paint these smoke-free and tobacco-free products as being just as dangerous as cigarettes,” said Conley. “The public health establishment should be called to task for their role in misinforming Americans about these reduced harm technology products.”
About the American Vaping Association
The American Vaping Association is a nonprofit organization that advocates for fair and sensible regulation of vapor products, otherwise known as electronic cigarettes, with the goal of maximizing the number of adult smokers who use these products to quit smoking. The AVA was founded by Gregory Conley, a consumer and industry advocate with a long track record of advocating for vapor products dating back to 2010.
We are dedicated to educating the public and government officials about public health benefits offered by vapor products, which are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine or nicotine-free solution and create an inhalable vapor. The AVA is not a trade group and does not speak for any particular businesses, including our industry sponsors.